Biggest India bourse expects IPO by March

NEW DELHI • National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE) expects a probe into its high-frequency trading system to be settled within six months, paving the way for an initial public offering (IPO) by March, according to chairman Ashok Chawla.

Billed last year as India’s biggest IPO in more than six years, NSE’s listing plans have been complicated by a regulatory investigation into whether the exchange gave some high-frequency traders unfair access to its trading system. A resolution will clear a major roadblock for the sale.

It “will go through a process of discussions and then through a formal process, where it goes to a settlement committee”, Chawla said in an interview in New Delhi last Friday. “It’s difficult to put a specific timeline. Now our expectation, and hope, is that it should get settled in a maximum timeframe of six months.”

India’s largest stock exchange filed an IPO draft prospectus in December to sell up to about 111.4 million shares, giving investors an opportunity to exit their holdings.

Once the co-location issue, or the practice of placing a trader’s servers next to that of an exchange, is settled, the exchange will look at its IPO early next year, Chawla said. — Bloomberg