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Introduction : The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has made a groundbreaking announcement that promises to significantly alter the landscape of India’s capital markets. On January 24, 2024, the Government of India unveiled amendments to the Foreign Exchange Management and Companies Rules, setting the stage for public Indian companies to directly list equity shares on international exchanges within the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). This move is poised to open new avenues for capital access, particularly benefiting start-ups and technology-driven sectors.

Detailed Analysis

Policy Initiatives: The recent policy amendments are a bold step towards integrating the Indian capital market with global financial networks. By facilitating direct listings on GIFT IFSC’s international exchanges, Indian enterprises can now tap into a wider pool of international investors, enhancing their visibility and investment prospects on a global scale.

Impact on GIFT IFSC and Primary Markets: The GIFT IFSC stock exchanges are set to play a pivotal role in this transformative journey. As of January 31, 2024, the total listing of debt securities in GIFT IFSC has reached an impressive USD 54.75 billion, including USD 11.6 billion in ESG-labelled securities. This demonstrates the IFSC’s burgeoning potential as a global hub for capital raising and financial services.

Standing Committee on Primary Markets: To further bolster the development of a dynamic primary market ecosystem in GIFT IFSC, the IFSCA has established a “Standing Committee on Primary Markets.” Chaired by Shri T. V. Mohandas Pai, a renowned figure in the Indian business landscape, the committee comprises eminent personalities from finance, law, and regulatory bodies. Their collective expertise is expected to guide the IFSCA in refining policy frameworks, introducing innovative financial instruments, and strategizing the expansion of the global debt market within the IFSC.

Terms of Reference: The committee’s mandate is comprehensive, covering advice on policy and regulatory matters, strategies for direct listing implementation, financial instrument innovation, and the overall development and regulation of GIFT IFSC’s primary markets. This advisory role is crucial for navigating the complexities of global financial integration and ensuring the IFSC’s competitive positioning on the international stage.

Conclusion : The constitution of the Standing Committee on Primary Markets by the IFSCA marks a significant milestone in India’s financial services sector. By leveraging the expertise of industry veterans and aligning with global best practices, the IFSCA is poised to transform GIFT IFSC into a premier destination for capital raising and financial innovation. This initiative not only enhances India’s attractiveness as an investment destination but also signals its readiness to play a central role in the global financial ecosystem. As the committee embarks on its mission, the future of the Indian capital market looks brighter than ever, promising unprecedented opportunities for growth and international collaboration.

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International Financial Services Centres Authority

PRESS RELEASE

Constitution of a Standing Committee on Primary Markets

1. The Government of India has recently, on January 24, 2024, notified the Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments) Amendment Rules, 2024 and the Companies (Listing of Equity Shares in Permissible Jurisdictions) Rules,  2024 providing the framework for enabling direct listing of equity shares by public Indian companies on the International Exchanges in GIFT IFSC.

2. This policy initiative by the Government of India has the potential to reshape the Indian capital market landscape and offers Indian companies, especially start-ups and companies in the sunrise and technology sectors, an alternative avenue to access global capital beyond the domestic exchanges. This announcement is expected to provide a significant boost to the primary markets in GIFT IFSC.

3. Further, the stock exchanges in GIFT IFSC provide immense opportunities for issuers in India and the region to raise capital in foreign currency through issue of debt securities. As on January 31, 2024, the cumulative listing of all debt securities on the recognised stock exchanges in GIFT IFSC is USD 54.75 billion, including ESG labelled debt securities of USD 11.6 billion.

4. IFSCA has constituted a “Standing Committee on Primary Markets” (“Standing Committee”) for seeking suggestions and recommendations from the market experts on the various policy and regulatory matters to facilitate the development of a vibrant and robust ecosystem for primary markets in GIFT IFSC

5. The Standing Committee will be chaired by Shri T. V. Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Aarin Capital Partners and former CFO and Board Member at Infosys. The members of the Committee are as follows:

S. No. Details of Committee Member Capacity
1 Shri T. V. Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Aarin Capital Partners and former CFO and Board Member at Infosys Chair
2 Shri J. V. N. Subramanyam, IAS, Director, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance (Ex Officio capacity) Member
3 Shri Amitabh Malhotra, Head of Global Banking, HSBC Member
4 Shri Bahram Vakil, Founder & Senior Partner, AZB & Partners Member
5 Ms. Gesu Kaushal, Managing Director – Equity Corporate Finance, Kotak Investment Banking Member
6 Shri Haigreve Khaitan, Senior Partner, Khaitan & Co Member
7 Shri J. Ranganayakulu, Former Executive Director, SEBI Member
8 Shri Kaushal Sampat, MD & CEO, India International Depository IFSC Ltd. Member
9 Shri Keki Mistry, former CEO, HDFC Member
10 Shri Mahavir Lunawat, Chairman AIBI (Ex Officio capacity) Member
11 Shri Navneet Munot, Chairman, AMFI (Ex Officio capacity) Member
12 Shri Neeraj Kulshreshtha, MD & CEO, NSE IFSC Clearing Corporation Member
13 Ms. Parminder Chopra, CMD, Power Finance Corporation Ltd. Member
14 Shri S. Ramamoorthy Iyer, Senior Vice President, SBI Capital Markets Member
15 Shri Samarth Jagnani, Managing Director, Global Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley Member
16 Shri Sanjeev Krishnan, Chairperson, PwC, India Member
17 Shri Sunil Sanghai, Chairman, Capital Markets, FICCI
(Ex Officio capacity)
Member
18 Shri V. Balasubramaniam, MD and CEO, NSE IFSC Limited Member
19 Shri Pradeep Ramakrishnan, Executive Director, IFSCA Member
20 Shri Abhilash Mulakala, General Manager, IFSCA Member
Secretary
21 Shri Arjun Prasad, General Manager, IFSCA Member
Secretary

6. The Terms of Reference of the Standing Committee are as under:

a) To advise IFSCA on the various policy and regulatory matters on a periodic basis to facilitate the development of a vibrant and robust ecosystem for primary markets in the IFSC.

b) To advise IFSCA on the roadmap and strategy for successful implementation of direct listing of public Indian companies on the stock exchanges in the IFSC.

c) To advise IFSCA on introduction of new financial instruments for facilitating capital raising in the primary markets in the IFSC

d) To advise IFSCA on scaling up global debt market in the IFSC

e) To advise IFSCA on matters relating to development and regulation of primary markets in the IFSC

7. The constitution of the committee can be accessed through the following weblink: https://ifsca.gov.in/IFSCACommittees.

Gandhinagar
February 23, 2024

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