A recent directive by SEBI barring conversion of Indian Depository Receipt (IDR) into primary equity shares of foreign companies has dented the India listing plans of some multinationals in the technology sector, a senior i-banker said on Tuesday.

“There was not much of interest in IDR to start with but due to this Sebi directive, some companies in the tech and tech-related space which had plans, are now rethinking their strategies,” chief operating officer of Kotak’s Investment Banking division S Ramesh told reporters.

Sebi had announced last week that IDR holders cannot convert the instrument into primary equity shares of the foreign company after a year, unless the IDR is illiquid. This led to the IDR of Standard Chartered–the only company to raise capital through the route–tanking by over 15 per cent.

Ramesh, who was speaking at a London Stock Exchange (LSE) Group roadshow, did not specify the number of or names of the technology companies who were interested in coming out with IDR issues.

The LSE, which has witnessed listing by corporate houses like Essar and Vedanta for fund raising, is seeing a “significant” interest from Indian companies, its Head of Primary Markets for India, Ibukun Adebayo, said.

He said the number of equity listings on the main market and the AIM alternate investment market) for smaller businesses will exceed the traditional GDR (global depository receipt) issues this year.

Last year, out of seven India-focused or domiciled companies which enthused interest, five small companies listed on the AIM while one–Essar energy–listed on the main market, he said, listing mining, metals and energy as areas where LSE has a “strong franchise”.

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June 2021