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SEBI issues note to guide
April, 03rd 2010

In an effort to improve financial literacy, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has come out with aneasy-to-understand guidance note, asking the investor community how to navigate offer documents and read risk factors before making investment decisions.

SEBI, in its Guide to Understanding Offer Document, advises investors to go through the risks factors and look at the promise-vs-performance columns before investing in a company.

It is generally advised that investors should go through all the risk factors of the company before making an investment decision, the document says. The regulator also says in case investors find instance of misinformation or lack of information, they may send their complaint to the lead manager of the issue and/or to SEBI.

Informing investors about the basic knowledge before investing in public issues or rights issues, SEBI says, The application forms for applying or bidding for shares are available with all syndicate members, collection centres, the brokers to the issue and the bankers to the issue.

For the aggrieved investors with respect to non-receipt of shares, delay in refund among other things, SEBI says, Investors can approach the compliance officer of the issue, whose name and contact number are mentioned on the cover page of the offer document.

The SEBI document also clarifies that all public issues of over Rs 10 crore are compulsorily in demat mode. It says an issue can be kept open for 3-10 working days, extendable by three days in case of a revision in the price band, while rights issue can be kept open for 15-30 days.

You can get refunds in an issue through various modes such as registered or ordinary post, direct credit, real-time gross settlement (RTGS), electronic clearing service (ECS) and national electronic fund transfer (NEFT), says SEBI.

In book-built public issues through which a company discovers the actual price of the share in the market the listing of shares gets done within three weeks after the closure of the issue. Book-building is a process of price discovery. After the bidding process is complete, the cut-off price is arrived at based on the demand of securities. Only the retail investors have the option of bidding at a cut-off price, SEBI says.

Last month, the regulator had approved regulations for the Investor Protection and Education Fund (IPEF) which may be even used for initiating legal proceedings against listed companies. In addition to funding legal battles in the interest of investors, the fund can also be utilised for activities like educating investors and disseminating information through media, the regulator said in a release after the board meeting.

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