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Newsmaker - C. B. Bhave

Chandrasekhar Bhaskar Bhave, 59, has just been appointed Chairman of the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI), replacing M. Damodaran, who completed three years in office on February 17, 2008.

Print Edition: March 9, 2008

C.B. Bhave: SEBIís new watchdog
C.B. Bhave
Chandrasekhar Bhaskar Bhave, 59, has just been appointed Chairman of the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI), replacing M. Damodaran, who completed three years in office on February 17, 2008. Bhave has over one-and-ahalf decades of experience in the Indian capital markets; he has been instrumental in framing many of the regulations now in force and also played a leading role in the Indian market’s shift from physical share certificates to paperless trading. “Bhave has the highest levels of integrity and his knowledge of financial markets is unmatched,” says Gagan Rai, who worked very closely with him as Executive Director at NSDL.

A 1975 cadre IAS officer, Bhave was not keen on entering the capital markets as a regulator, but former SEBI chief G.V. Ramakrishna convinced him to come on board when SEBI was set up in the early ’90s. He joined SEBI in 1992 and was its first Senior Executive Director. Later, in 1996, he quit the IAS to take up the challenge of building NSDL, the biggest depository in the country. In little over a decade, Bhave revolutionised the capital market. Today, there are over 7.5 million demat account holders with securities values at $1,192 billion (Rs 47.68 lakh crore).

The only dark spot in Bhave’s career was the demat IPO scam that, in a small way, dented his reputation. The matter is currently stuck in litigation. At SEBI, Bhave will have to face several challenges— the dominance of FIIs, the spread of futures and options trading, the entry of hedge funds and the role of participatory notes in the market. Given his impeccable track record, there is little reason to believe that he is not up to the challenge.

Anand Adhikari

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