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Importance of being earnest: Usha Narayanan

Usha Narayanan is in charge of all matters relating to foreign institutional investors, or FIIs, and the primary market.

Print Edition: Nov 28, 2010

Usha Narayanan
58, Executive Director, SEBI
(Number of times in BT's Most Powerful list: 2)

Power and flamboyance are not two sides of the same coin. Usha Narayanan, Executive Director at the Securities and Exchange Board of India, will agree. She is rarely seen or heard in public forums. But Narayanan is in charge of all matters relating to foreign institutional investors, or FIIs, and the primary market. In 2010, until end-October, FII net investments had touched Rs 1,55,250 crore; and another Rs 57,356 crore had been raised through initial public offerings, or IPOs, and follow-on issues.

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In September, at a merchant bankers' industry forum, Narayanan suggested that merchant bankers should measure their own performance on the basis of returns made by issues handled by them and put it up for public viewing.

Reason: the negative returns from some IPOs in recent years. "Some of the issues in the past few years have not returned money to the investors, which is not a good thing if you want to sustain investor interest in IPOs," Narayanan said.

Clearly, Narayanan takes the role of the market watchdog seriously. For instance, she along with the top SEBI brass has been mulling a code for IPO advertising. Narayanan is also a member of SEBI's Takeover Regulation Advisory Committee set up in September 2009. Promoters will be eagerly waiting to hear Narayanan out when she speaks next.

-Rajiv Bhuva
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8.Vedika Bhandarkar
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