The government on Wednesday allowed overseas banks, insurers, stock and commodity exchanges and depositories to hold up to 15% stake in local bourses after it increased the foreign investment limit from 5%.
In addition, it approved the proposal to allow foreign portfolio investors to acquire shares through initial allotment, besides secondary market, in the stock exchanges. The move will help in enhancing global competitiveness of Indian stock exchanges by accelerating and facilitating the adoption of latest technology and global best practices, which will lead to overall growth and development of the domestic capital market. FM Arun Jaitley had announced the plan in his budget for 2016-17.
The move is expected to boost the plans for initial public offers by Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE). These two exchanges present an opportunity for foreign investors. The move to include other exchanges such as a commodity derivative exchange will deepen the markets and bring in foreign players.
Singapore Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse, which have a 5% stake in BSE, have been keen to raise holding. The government has liberalised foreign investment limit in a host of sectors in a bid to attract investment and expertise.