Leading stock exchange BSE has served final notice to as many as 428 companies to either apply for revocation of suspension or opt for delisting.
The securities of these firms have been under suspension for more than seven years on account of non-compliance with various clauses of listing regulations.
The exchange, which is considering compulsory delisting of these companies from its platform in a phased manner, has sent final communications to 428 firms advising them to initiate the process of revocation of suspension.
Prior to that, two separate written communications have already been sent to the companies at the latest address available with the exchange and also to the last known address as per the Ministry of Corporate Affairs' website.
"Thereafter, the exchange has issued letters to the companies which have either failed to reply to both the letters issued by the exchange or failed to steps for revocation of suspension in the trading of securities asking them to show cause as to why the exchange should not proceed with compulsory delisting of the companies," BSE said in a public notice today.
"However, these companies have either failed to reply to the show cause notice or did not take any steps for revocation of suspension in the trading of their securities or have consented to go ahead with the compulsory delisting," it added.
Under compulsory delisting, these firm would cease to be listed on the exchange and would move to the dissemination board of the exchange. Besides, the delisted companies, its directors, promoters and group firm would be debarred from the securities markets for 10 years.
"Onus of giving exit to the public shareholders and providing information to the exchange for fair valuation is on the promoters of the company. In case, exit is not provided by the promoters, appropriate action would be taken against such entities," BSE said.
The exchange said, in case any of these companies are planning to make any representation to the bourse, they can do so in writing with all the documents to BSE's delisting committee within 15 working days.
With 5,840 firms trading on its platform, BSE is the world's largest bourse in terms of number of listed entities.
Overall, trading in shares of as many as 1,021 companies listed on BSE has been under suspension for a period of seven years or more as on June 1 this year.
The exchange, earlier this month, had sent communications to 509 firms advising them to initiate the process of revocation of suspension. While follow up letters were also sent in this regard, 52 firm sought revocation of suspension in trading of shares and one company sought delisting, in response to the exchange's communication.
Earlier this year, BSE had initiated a procedure to help firms, suspended on account of non-compliance with listing norms, meet the necessary regulatory requirements speedily.
Under the procedure, BSE-listed firms are required to meet with the compliances to revoke their suspension, within a prescribed time limit, and failure to complete the process would result in compulsory delisting of such companies from the stock exchange.
Meanwhile, BSE has also empanelled independent valuers to compute the fair value of companies that are to be delisted.
There are estimated to be over 1,200 companies whose shares are listed on national bourses BSE and NSE but where trading has been suspended for various non-compliance issues for over seven years.
Besides, there are over 3,000 companies listed on various regional stock exchanges that have become defunct.
According to Sebi whole time member Rajeev Kumar Agarwal, the regulator is working on guidelines to remove companies which have been suspended for many years.