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EXCLUSIVE-India will not mandate secondary listings for firms joining overseas markets -sources

* India preparing rules for firms to directly list abroad

* Concerns had grown India would force firms to list at home later

* India has decided not to mandate secondary listing, say sources

* It is weighing seven nations for overseas listing, source says

By Aftab Ahmed, Aditya Kalra and Aditi Shah

NEW DELHI, Oct 15 (Reuters) - India has decided not to mandate secondary listings for domestic firms that float their shares on a foreign stock exchange as the government prepares a new policy, two senior government sources and two industry executives told Reuters on Thursday.

India is close to drawing up rules for companies to float overseas without having to first list shares at home, as a way to help startups attain higher valuations and access capital more easily.

But concerns grew after officials privately told global investors and companies in meetings they were considering mandating a secondary listing for Indian firms on domestic exchanges, as a way of ensuring investors and markets prospered, Reuters has reported.

Asked about the proposal, a top government official directly involved in the discussion said there would be no mandatory requirement of a secondary listing, however.

“We will not mandate (secondary) India listing,” said the official, without explaining why the government changed its stance. He sought anonymity as the discussions were private.

The finance ministry and capital markets regulator SEBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Aftab Ahmed, Aditya Kalra and Aditi Shah in New Delhi; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)