India's NSE may need to refile IPO application: regulator

Buildings are reflected on the glass windows of the NSE (National Stock Exchange) building in Mumbai, India, December 27, 2016. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India’s National Stock Exchange may need to refile its application for a stock listing after looking into whether brokers were provided unfair access to its servers, markets regulator chairman Ajay Tyagi said on Monday.

NSE submitted an application for an initial public offering (IPO) in December, which bankers have said could raise as much as $1 billion. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), however, has yet to approve the listing amid an ongoing regulatory probe into whether India’s biggest exchange had provided unfair access to its servers to some brokers.

NSE said at the time that an auditor it had hired to look into the issue could not conclusively determine whether any collusion had happened between its employees and market participants, spurring the regulator to look for a forensic auditor to further probe into the matter.

SEBI Chairman Tyagi suggested on Monday that it wanted the NSE to address the probe first and then left open the prospect the exchange would need to refile the eagerly anticipated IPO.

“I think they themselves have to do it,” Tyagi told reporters on the sidelines of an event when pressed about whether the NSE would need to update its application with new information, including an update to its financial statements.

The NSE declined to comment.

The NSE has sought to move ahead with its listing, proposing to settle it with the regulator through the payment of a penalty, according to two sources familiar with the matter. SEBI has not said whether it would be open to a settlement.

In a welcome development for the exchange, SEBI last month conditionally approved the appointment of Vikram Limaye, head of infrastructure lender IDFC Ltd IDFC.NS, as the next chief executive of NSE, removing a key hurdle.

NSE's older rival BSE Ltd BSEI.NS listed in early February and has seen its share surge 33 percent from its IPO price as the bourse has benefited from a record-setting rally in share markets that are expected to improve profits.

Reporting by Manoj Kumar and Abhirup Roy; Writing by Rafael Nam; Editing by Susan Fenton