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SEBI Brings in Value Criteria for Determining Illiquidity

The capital market regulator SEBI has replaced the volume criteria for illiquidity of scrips with value, beginning January.
For being deemed illiquid and to be shifted from the normal market to periodic call auction, any scrip has to have an average daily turnover of less than Rs 2 lakh during the previous two quarters. 


Under the volume-based criteria, scrips with an average daily volume of 10,000 during a quarter and less than 50 trades a day on average were deemed illiquid.

However, scrips with average market capitalisation of more than Rs 10 crore, scrips where the company has paid dividend in at least two of the last three years, scrips where the company is profitable in at least two of last three years, scrips where not more than 20 per cent of promoter shareholding is pledged in the latest quarter and scrips whose book value is three times or more than their face value would be excluded, even if they are identified as illiquid, said SEBI. The changes have been introduced after market participants made representations to SEBI and the issues raised were deliberated by SEBI’s Secondary Market Advisory Committee (SMAC).

Market participants have been concerned about the drastic fall in trading volume of scrips that were shifted to the periodic call auction segment effective April 1, 2013. Once implemented, many scrips will return to the normal market.

Scrips can now return to the normal market after being in periodic call auction for one quarter. Earlier, the minimum time period was two quarters.

One-hour session goes

The number of one-hour periodic call auction sessions starting at 9.30 a.m. has been done away with. Instead, exchanges have been directed to determine the number of these sessions with a minimum of two sessions a day with one uniform closing session across the exchanges.

During the one-hour call auction session, 45 minutes are set aside for order entry/ order modification/ order cancellation. The session closes randomly during the last one minute of order entry between the 44th and the 45th minute. Such random closure shall be system-driven. The next eight minutes are set aside for order matching and trade confirmation. And the last seven minutes are kept aside as a buffer period for closing the current session and facilitating the transition to the next session.

SEBI has now allowed unmatched orders to be carried over from one session to another. Earlier these were purged.

Business Line, New Delhi, 21-12-2013

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