RBI issues order to tweak NCD, commercial paper norms

Mumbai, Jan 3: The RBI issued a direction on Wednesday to introduce changes in the norms related to non-convertible debentures (NCDs) and buyback of commercial papers (CPs) of original or initial maturity up to one year.

The directions, which will come into force with effect from April 1, 2024, state that CPs and NCDs shall be issued in dematerialised form and held with a depository registered with SEBI. These have to be issued in a minimum denomination of Rs 5 lakh and in multiples of Rs 5 lakh thereafter.

The tenor of a CP shall not be less than seven days or more than one year while the tenor of an NCD shall not be less than 90 days or more than one year.

The directions further state that the issuance of a CP/NCD with options (call/put) is not permitted. Issuance of a CP/NCD is also not permitted to be underwritten or co-accepted.

CPs shall be issued at a discount to the face value while NCDs shall be issued at a discount to the face value or with fixed or floating rate coupon, the direction state.

The buyback offer shall be extended to all investors in a particular issue on identical terms and conditions. The investors shall have the option to accept or reject the buyback offer.

“Buyback of CPs and NCDs shall be at the prevailing market price,” directions said.

The issuer of CPs and NCDs have to inform the details of the buyback to the IPA and Debenture Trustee, respectively, on the date of the buyback, the norms state.

The payment for the buyback of the CP/NCD by the issuer as well as the repayment of a CP/NCD, including coupon payments, shall be routed through the IPA, the directions state.

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