Mumbai: The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) will hear an appeal against regulator Sebi by realty giant DLF, which has sought an interim relief for redeeming funds locked in mutual funds and other instruments. Earlier this month, Sebi barred the company and six others, including the company's top executives, from accessing capital market for three years for "active and deliberate suppression" of material information at the time of its IPO over seven years ago.
Following the Sebi's order, the company moved to SAT, which last week sought Sebi's reply on DLF's plea for an interim relief. Sebi has been asked to give its reply by tomorrow. During the first hearing on October 22, the company sought an interim relief from the Tribunal, while Sebi faced the flak for delay in passing the order and also for the adverse impact suffered by shareholders, who lost over Rs 7,500 crore of their wealth in a single day post the order.
While promoters own 74.93 per cent stake in DLF, foreign institutional investors have close to 20 per cent and retail shareholders have about 4 per cent among others. This was one of the rare orders by Sebi where it barred a blue-chip firm and its top promoter/executives from market. DLF's initial public offer in 2007 had fetched Rs 9,187 crore, the biggest IPO in the country at that time. As the case progresses, the industry experts are of the opinion that the case will have wider ramifications for the entire real estate sector and the regulatory framework applicable to them.
Top executives from real estate sector and capital markets intermediaries have said the case needs to be seen in a different perspective from those pertaining to sectors other than real estate. At the same time, the role of merchant bankers, legal advisors and others involved in the process of making IPO-related disclosures also needs to be examined, they said. The case has also brought to limelight 'technicalities' involved in the practice of Sebi giving 'observations' and not 'approval or clearance' for an IPO.
There is a view that regulators need to understand that the business practices tend to be different in real estate sector, from manufacturing or other segments of the economy. However, others feel that regulations cannot be overlooked to accommodate certain 'prevailing practices' in one particular sector, such as those related to use of 'friendly' entities for purchase of land or development rights in the name of ease of doing business....