IPO-BOUND COS MAY HAVE TO E-FILE DISCLOSURES

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All companies going public henceforth will have to mandatorily upload their corporate disclosures on the corporate filing and dissemination system (CFDS), an electronic platform developed and managed by the stock exchanges, NSE and BSE.

Capital markets regulator, Sebi, is likely to make this mandatory, thereby taking forward its recent measure, strengthening the provisions for monitoring utilisation of issue proceeds. Sebi had recently amended the equity listing agreement and said all listed companies, would in a phased manner, be required to file information with the stock exchanges only through CFDS.

Corporate disclosures will include financial statements comprising balance sheet, profit and loss account and full version of annual report; half yearly financial statements including cash flow statements and quarterly financial statements, corporate governance reports, shareholding pattern statement, action taken against any company by any regulatory agency, disclosures of subs acquisition & takeover & Sebi insider trading regulation etc.

The first phase, commencing January 1, will see 100 companies short-listed by the exchanges, make their submissions through CFDS, the deadline for which is January 15, 2008. The portal aims at providing a single interface to the investors to keep track of the latest filings of all listed companies in India irrespective of the stock exchange.

It is learnt that the regulator will meet with the stock exchanges post expiry of the deadline, to review the progress of the electronic filing procedure. Thereafter, depending on the response, Sebi would consider expanding the number of companies on the list. It may be expanded to cover up to 500 companies in the next phase.

CFDS, put in place jointly by the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE), offers a XBRL enabled common platform for listed companies to file such information, statements and reports as may be specified by the participating stock exchanges in this regard and also a common place for investors to view information related to listed companies.

Over a period, other modes of sending public information to stock exchanges for compliance with clauses of the equity listing agreement would be dispensed with, including filing through EDIFAR (Electronic Data Information Filing and Retrieval system). Companies filing through CFDS are not required to make filing through EDIFAR, Sebi had stated.

Sebi had earlier introduced a clause in equity listing agreement, mandating certain corporate information through EDIFAR system hosted by the National Informatics Centre on Sebi's behalf. EDIFAR will gradually be phased out and will be replaced by CFDS.

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