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SEBI asks listed cos to disclose forensic audit info to exchanges

In order to address the gaps in availability of information, markets regulator SEBI has asked listed companies to make disclosures about initiation of forensic audit to stock exchanges.

The move comes after SEBI’s board last month approved a proposal in this regard.

The listed entities will make disclosures about the fact of initiation of forensic audit along with the name of the entity initiating such audit and reasons for the same, if available, to stock exchanges, SEBI said in a notification issued on Thursday.

Further, the companies will be required to disclose about final forensic audit report, other than for forensic audit initiated by regulatory or enforcement agencies, on receipt by the listed entity, along with comments of the management, if any.

In addition, SEBI has made certain changes in rules for listed entities, which list their non-convertible debt securities, with regard to maintenance of asset cover and intimation about documents to debenture trustees.

Under the norms, listed entities will have to maintain 100 percent asset cover, or asset cover as per the terms of offer document, sufficient to discharge the principal amount at all times for the non-convertible debt securities issued.

The regulator has removed the framework that said maintenance of 100 percent asset cover will not be applicable in case of “unsecured debt securities issued by regulated financial sector entities eligible for meeting capital requirements as specified by respective regulators”.

Further, the listed entities will have to promptly forward to debenture trustees a half-yearly certificate regarding maintenance of 100 percent asset cover, or asset cover as per the terms of offer document, in respect of listed non-convertible debt securities, by the statutory auditor along with the half-yearly financial results.

The submission of half-yearly certificate is not applicable where bonds are secured by a government guarantee, SEBI said.

SEBI has amended the Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements (LODR) regulation to make the above changes.