Sunday, April 26, 2015

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) - Structure, Objectives and Role

With the growth in the dealings of stock markets, lot of malpractices also started in stock markets such as price rigging, ‘unofficial premium on new issue, and delay in delivery of shares, violation of rules and regulations of stock exchange and listing requirements. Due to these malpractices the customers started losing confidence and faith in the stock exchange. So government of India decided to set up an agency or regulatory body known as Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was set up in 1988 to regulate the functions of securities market. SEBI promotes orderly and healthy development in the stock market but initially SEBI was not able to exercise complete control over the stock market transactions.
It was left as a watch dog to observe the activities but was found ineffective in regulating and controlling them. As a result in May 1992, SEBI was granted legal status. SEBI is a body corporate having a separate legal existence and perpetual succession.
The Organisational Structure of SEBI:
1. SEBI is working as a corporate sector.
2. Its activities are divided into five departments. Each department is headed by an executive director.
3. The head office of SEBI is in Mumbai and it has branch office in Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi.
4. SEBI has formed two advisory committees to deal with primary and secondary markets.
5. These committees consist of market players, investors associations and eminent persons.

Purpose and Role of SEBI: SEBI was set up with the main purpose of keeping a check on malpractices and protect the interest of investors. It was set up to meet the needs of three groups.
1. Issuers: For issuers it provides a market place in which they can raise finance fairly and easily.
2. Investors: For investors it provides protection and supply of accurate and correct information.
3. Intermediaries: For intermediaries it provides a competitive professional market.
Objectives of SEBI: The overall objectives of SEBI are to protect the interest of investors and to promote the development of stock exchange and to regulate the activities of stock market. The objectives of SEBI are:
1. To regulate the activities of stock exchange.
2. To protect the rights of investors and ensuring safety to their investment.
3. To prevent fraudulent and malpractices by having balance between self regulation of business and its statutory regulations.
4. To regulate and develop a code of conduct for intermediaries such as brokers, underwriters, etc.

Functions of SEBI: The SEBI performs functions to meet its objectives. To meet three objectives SEBI has three important functions. These are:
i. Protective functions
ii. Developmental functions
iii. Regulatory functions.
1. Protective Functions: These functions are performed by SEBI to protect the interest of investor and provide safety of investment. As protective functions SEBI performs following functions:
(i) It Checks Price Rigging: Price rigging refers to manipulating the prices of securities with the main objective of inflating or depressing the market price of securities. SEBI prohibits such practice because this can defraud and cheat the investors.
(ii) It Prohibits Insider trading: Insider is any person connected with the company such as directors, promoters etc. These insiders have sensitive information which affects the prices of the securities. This information is not available to people at large but the insiders get this privileged information by working inside the company and if they use this information to make profit, then it is known as insider trading. SEBI keeps a strict check when insiders are buying securities of the company and takes strict action on insider trading.
(iii) SEBI prohibits fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices: SEBI does not allow the companies to make misleading statements which are likely to induce the sale or purchase of securities by any other person.
(iv) SEBI undertakes steps to educate investors so that they are able to evaluate the securities of various companies and select the most profitable securities.
(v) SEBI promotes fair practices and code of conduct in security market by taking following steps:
(a) SEBI has issued guidelines to protect the interest of debenture-holders wherein companies cannot change terms in midterm.
(b) SEBI is empowered to investigate cases of insider trading and has provisions for stiff fine and imprisonment.
(c) SEBI has stopped the practice of making preferential allotment of shares unrelated to market prices.

2. Developmental Functions: These functions are performed by the SEBI to promote and develop activities in stock exchange and increase the business in stock exchange. Under developmental categories following functions are performed by SEBI:
(i) SEBI promotes training of intermediaries of the securities market.
(ii) SEBI tries to promote activities of stock exchange by adopting flexible and adoptable approach in following way:
(a) SEBI has permitted internet trading through registered stock brokers.
(b) SEBI has made underwriting optional to reduce the cost of issue.
(c) Even initial public offer of primary market is permitted through stock exchange.

3. Regulatory Functions: These functions are performed by SEBI to regulate the business in stock exchange. To regulate the activities of stock exchange following functions are performed:
(i) SEBI has framed rules and regulations and a code of conduct to regulate the intermediaries such as merchant bankers, brokers, underwriters, etc.
(ii) These intermediaries have been brought under the regulatory purview and private placement has been made more restrictive.
(iii) SEBI registers and regulates the working of stock brokers, sub-brokers, share transfer agents, trustees, merchant bankers and all those who are associated with stock exchange in any manner.
(iv) SEBI registers and regulates the working of mutual funds etc.
(v) SEBI regulates takeover of the companies.
(vi) SEBI conducts inquiries and audit of stock exchanges.


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