Aug 26,2019 | 16 min read

Minimum Public Shareholding To 35%; Impact On The Public Companies

Author - Associate Sanjani Shah

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget proposal to increase 35 percent public shareholding in listed businesses from 25 percent, if executed. It may possibly compress liquidity in the secondary market and might result in the downfall revenue to the government in the long-term capital gains tax. As, many multinational businesses or companies with high promoter holdings shall need to come out with FPOs, QIPs or other instruments to lower their stakes. The industry experts think that such a move is a drag on the stock markets.

However, this is a piece of good news for the retail investors as they will finally be able to invest or buy more shares in their respective stocks. The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “its right time to consider increasing minimum public shareholding in listed companies, I have asked SEBI to consider raising the current threshold of 25 percent to 35 percent”.

In the year 2010, SEBI had introduced minimum public shareholding (MSP), with only a 25 percent holding limit in listed equity shares on the standard point of reference guide with Sensex and Nifty. So at the end of the 25 percent limit, investors are expected to sell their shares in order to maintain the benchmark.

The share price of multinational businesses or companies (MNCs) in India may get influenced by this move. As said in the clarification issued by the Finance Ministry after the budget speech, SEBI will have to examine the proposal.

A move to increase the stockholding threshold from 25 percent to 35 percent in public participation in listed businesses or companies is by the proposed announcement, thereby protecting the fundamentals of the Administration. One would need to understand that once the detail print is available, as the Finance Minister mentioned that SEBI will be issuing essential circular.

Generally, three years’ period will be given to meet the new benchmark which is allowed by the SEBI, even if one takes conventional valuations into account. Capital of $10 to $12 billion would be needed every year to meet this benchmark alone for the next three years, as per industry experts. Currently, there are approximately some 4, 13, 57,794 registered investors on Sensex alone. While 2,206 numbers of companies are traded, few 110 companies on the BSE 500 index currently having a public float of below 30 percent.

Noticeably, out of these 25 companies have public stockholding less than 25 percent. Currently, out of 500 companies of the BSE, above 65 percent promoter stockholder have 100 companies. There are lower than 35 percent public holding in 40 PSUs. For instance, TCS alone would be needed to alter the worth of Rs.60,000 crore to lessen its hold from 72.05 to the proposed 65.

The move to increase public holding will bring out to valuation corrections as many of the stocks are estimated at premium valuations on account of the restricted free float. The bigger public involvement will take to an increase in free float over the next two years, leading to a handful of INs and OUTs of the Nifty, which is at present, build on free float technique. Free float means the portion of stocks held by public promoters or investors across restricted holdings.

As per KRC Investment Managers founder Mr.Deven Choksey, “Watch out richly valued MNC stocks, whose valuations may come under check if their promoters have to part with their holdings.”

Nearly all MNC company stocks in India are presently trading at a valuation that is greater than their parent company in their native land. The move is decisive and positive for minority stockholders and it will guide to better price analysis. Some MNCs with bottom public investment may decide to delist instead of increasing their stakes. As per data assembled by brokerage Centrum Broking showed that promoters in 1,714 listed businesses will have to unload their stakes to meet this benchmark. IT companies and Banks among all the MNCs will be most affected.

Investors tend to affect judgments whenever special adjudications are moved. If investors or promoters stockholding moves low, public stockholders will have a comparatively bigger say in such judgments.  This will provide a superb chance for inactive investors or waiting on sidelines investors for further investment in shares or stocks. As per Samco Securities founder and CEO Mr. Jimeet Modi, the proposal is the biggest wheels fortune, wealth shifting announcement in the interest of ordinaries.

Finance market experts admit that the regulator board SEBI should consider giving additional time to meet new regulations. SEBI needs to provide sufficient time to meet this benchmark so as not to overflood the markets with sales of stake by investors or promoters.

“This is a global advantage for India,” as seen by Dhiraj Relli, MD & CEO, HDFC securities, “India’s weight in MSCI and other global indices could rise following this, leading to benefit over the medium term.”


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