Sebi may clear Vikram Limaye’s appointment as NSE CEO, but with riders

Mumbai: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) will approve the appointment of Vikram Limaye as chief executive officer of the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) subject to conditions, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Limaye, currently managing director and chief executive officer of IDFC Ltd, also serves on the Supreme Court- appointed administrators’ panel of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The appointment had been held up due to the market regulator’s concerns about Limaye’s dual role at BCCI.

“Sebi may grant a conditional approval within the next few days on Limaye’s appointment. The conditions in the approval would ensure that his responsibilities at NSE are not compromised due to his additional role at the BCCI panel,” said the first person.

The conditions will be that Limaye’s stint at BCCI panel is finite and should be over by the time he joins NSE, this person said. Limaye and an NSE spokesperson did not comment on the matter.

This development comes after the NSE board assured the market regulator that Limaye will not continue in his BCCI role beyond August and will recuse himself in case of an extension.

On 31 January, Limaye was appointed by the apex court to the four-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) to manage the affairs of the BCCI. He was appointed for a period of six months. His tenure ends in August.

“Sebi was uncomfortable that his dual responsibilities would hamper his duties and role at NSE. NSE was keen to get an approval and a conditional approval was a way out,” said the second person.

A text message sent to an Sebi spokesperson was not answered immediately.

NSE expects Limaye to join the exchange by August. It expects to start roadshows for its initial public offering (IPO) within a quarter of Limaye’s taking charge, probably in September, said the second person.

NSE has already filed a draft prospectus and its IPO would see existing shareholders selling 25% shares to the public.

In any case, NSE is not in a hurry to list before resolving charges that some brokers had secured unfair access to its trading systems.

“We have some legacy issues which we are in the process of settling fully and finally with Sebi” Ashok Chawla, chairman, NSE told television channel ET Now, during the launch of NSE’s international exchange in the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) on Monday.

“Once that is through, we will (be) back in the space for the IPO and I have little doubt that we should be able to accomplish it well before the end of this calendar year,” he added.

India’s market regulator last month had issued show cause notices to 14 directors of NSE stating they failed in their fiduciary responsibility to maintain market sanctity by allowing unfair access to some brokers in its co-location platform.

On 27 April, Mint had reported that NSE’s public offering would be delayed till the bourse resolves these allegations and has a full-time CEO in place.