Sebi approves framework for creating Social Stock Exchange

Sebi, Social Stock Exchange, NABARD, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Securities and Exchange Board of India, SIDBI, Nirmala Sitharaman

MUMBAI: The Securities and Exchange Board of India approved the creation of a Social Stock Exchange and its framework in a board meeting of the regulator held earlier today.

The proposal for the creation of a Social Stock Exchange was put forth by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech in July 2019.

The capital market regulator said that it will engage with NABARD, SIDBI and stock exchanges to create a capacity-building fund of Rs 100 crore.

The Social Stock Exchange will be a new segment of existing stock exchanges. Non-profit enterprises and for-profit social enterprises with an explicit social intent and impact will be allowed to list on the Social Stock Exchange.

These entities will be allowed to raise funds from investors through equity, Zero Coupon Zero Principal bonds, Mutual funds, social impact funds and development impact bonds. Entities that would want to raise funds via the social stock exchange will have to register with the same, Sebi said.

Under the new framework, the capital market regulator said that social venture funds will be renamed to social impact funds under SEBI AIF regulations with a minimum corpus requirement reduced to Rs 5 crore from Rs 20 crore earlier.

In terms of auditing of social enterprise, Sebi said that initially only reputed auditing firms having expertise in the area of social audit will be allowed to carry out audits employing social auditors who have certification courses with the National Institute of Securities Management.

Sebi also said that it will in due course of time amend its regulations towards initial and continuous disclosures for social enterprises that will cover aspects of social and financial impact and governance.

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