Business & Economy Current Affairs 2017

Union Government launches Bharat 22 ETF to sell stakes in 22 firms

The Union Finance Ministry has launched second exchange-traded fund (ETF), named Bharat 22. It will help to speed up Government’s disinvestment programme budgeted to raise a record Rs 72,500 crore in the FY 2018.

 Bharat 22 comprise of 22 stocks including those of central public sector enterprises (CPSEs), public sector banks (PSBs) and its holdings under the Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India (SUUTI).

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are essentially index funds that are listed and traded on exchanges like stocks. They are basically basket of stocks with assigned weights that reflects the composition of an index. They are similar to mutual funds in a certain manner but are more liquid as they can be sold quickly on stock exchanges like shares.The ETFs trading value is based on the net asset value of the underlying stocks that it represents

Key Facts

Bharat 22 is a well-diversified ETF spanning six sectors — basic materials, energy, finance, industrials, FMCG and utilities. The sector wise weightage in the Bharat 22 Index is basic materials (4.4%), energy (17.5%), finance (20.3%), FMCG (15.2%), industrials (22.6%), and utilities (20%).

The banking segment includes stocks from State Bank of India (SBI), Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda (BoB), Indian Bank, Rural Electrification Corporation and Power Finance Corporation. The energy segment includes Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum (BP), and Coal India.

Background

The first CPSE ETF was launched in March 2014. The first CPSE ETF consisted of stocks of 10 public sector entities. It is currently managed by Reliance Capital Ltd. Government was able to raise Rs. 8,500 crore by selling it in three tranches.

SEBI constitutes TK Viswanathan committee on fair market conduct

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has set up a committee on ‘fair market conduct’. It will be headed former law secretary T K Viswanathan.

The committee will suggest measures for improving surveillance of the markets and strengthen rules for algorithm trades, among other norms.

Its members include representatives from law firms, mutual funds, retail and institutional brokers, forensic auditing firms, foreign portfolio investors, stock exchanges, chambers of commerce, data analytics companies and the markets regulator.

Need

The securities market environment is dynamic, so there is need for periodic review of regulations and surveillance mechanisms in order to effectively discharge the objectives of SEBI.

Terms and Reference of Committee

The committee will suggest measures for improvement in PFTUP (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) regulations, PIT (Prohibition of Insider Trading) norms and norms mainly related to ‘trading plans’ and handling of ‘unpublished price sensitive information’ during takeovers.

It will suggest short term and medium term measures for improved surveillance of the markets as well as issues of high frequency trades, harnessing of technology and analytics in surveillance. It will suggest evidentiary issues in anti-fraud enforcement. It will be also responsible for recommending steps to align insider trading regulations with Companies Act provisions.

About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

SEBI is the statutory regulator for the securities market in India established in 1988. It was given statutory powers through the SEBI Act, 1992. Its mandate is to protect the interests of investors in securities, promote the development of securities market and to regulate the securities market.

SEBI is responsive to needs of three groups, which constitute the market, issuers of securities, investors and market intermediaries. It has three functions quasi-legislative (drafts regulations in its legislative capacity), quasi-judicial (passes rulings and orders in its judicial capacity) and quasi-executive (conducts investigation and enforcement action in its executive function).

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