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NSE CEO Vikram Limaye says focus on regulatory issues first, then IPO

LiveMint logoLiveMint 17-07-2017 Jayshree P. Upadhyay

Mumbai: Vikram Limaye on Monday took charge as managing director and chief executive officer of the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE), spelling out his priorities at the helm of India’s top bourse.

Limaye, 50, is the first outsider to head NSE, taking the job at a time when the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is probing allegations that some brokers received unfair access to the algorithmic trading systems at NSE.

NSE has planned a Rs10,000 crore initial public offering (IPO) but the share sale could be delayed until the ongoing investigation is concluded.

“The first focus would be to resolve the pending regulatory issues in consultation with the board, to strengthen the relationship with stakeholders and later on taking the exchange public—this will not happen before the regulatory issues are resolved,” Limaye said in an interview.

Limaye also said that he would focus on improving employee morale, which has been subdued by lingering regulatory issues. In a letter to NSE employees, the new NSE chief said the exchange can overcome the challenges it is facing.

“We can achieve our objectives if we commit ourselves to the highest standards of governance, team work, excellence and a spirit of stewardship,” Limaye said in the letter, a copy of which was seen by Mint.

Limaye would also ensure that under his leadership the exchange will improve relationship with regulators, government, customers, employees and the media.

“We must demonstrate humility, respect, responsiveness and transparency in our conduct,” he added in the letter.

Limaye, a former managing director and chief executive of IDFC Ltd, has replaced former head of the exchange Chitra Ramkrishna, who left on 2 December on personal grounds.

He joined five months after he was selected to head the exchange due to his position on the Supreme Court-appointed committee of administrators of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Sebi cleared his appointment in June on the condition that he would step down from the panel. Limaye was relieved of his duties by the apex court on 14 July with immediate effect. Limaye took over as the head of NSE days after India’s largest exchange by volume stopped trading for three hours due to a technical glitch.

While a preliminary analysis points to lack of communication between order taking and order matching systems for the trading halt on 10 July, a full report would be prepared this week.

“A report is being prepared, the vendors are also helping in analysing the root cause. The report would be discussed with NSE’s standing committee on technology to strengthen systems if required. The report would be submitted to Sebi and finance ministry, the exchange is in touch with the regulator on the matter,” said Limaye.

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