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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Records to be maintained from transaction, Non profit organisation included, Suspicious transaction defined in amendment of Money Laundering Rules 2009

Notification No 13/2009/F.No. 6/8/2009- ES & G.S.R 816(E) dated 12th November 2009

Prevention of Money-laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 read with Rules is amended by Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records of the Nature and Value of Transactions, the Procedure and Manner of Maintaining and Time for Furnishing Information and Verification and Maintenance of Records of the Identity of the Clients of the Banking Companies, Financial Institutions and Intermediaries)  Amendment Rules, 2009

Rule 2(1)(ca) “non profit organisation” means any entity or organisation that is registered as a trust or a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of 1860) or any  similar State legislation or a company registered under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956);

Rule 3(BA) all  transactions involving receipts by non-profit organisations of  value  more than  Rs. 10 lakh, or its equivalent in foreign currency; Kindly note, Rule 3 deals with Maintenance of records of transactions (nature and value) by banking company or financial institution or intermediary. [thus, covering Charitable trusts, whether temples, churches or mosques, non-government organisations (NGOs), educational institutions or societies and other Non-profit organisations, even Section 25 Company – see definition above]

Rule 6  Retention of records of transactions– The records referred to in rule 3 shall be maintained for a period of ten years from the date of [the word CESSATION OF is removed] transactions between the client and the banking company, financial institution or intermediary, as the case may be.  [Hence, the 10 year period begins from the date of transaction itself].

Rule 2(fa)  “Regulator” means a person or an authority or a Government which is vested with the power to license, authorise, register, regulate or supervise the activity of banking companies, financial institutions or intermediaries, as the case may be;

Rule 2(g)  “Suspicious transaction" means a transaction referred to in clause (h) [which defines the term transaction], including an attempted transaction, whether or not made in cash, which to a person acting in good faith -

(a) gives rise to a reasonable ground of suspicion that it may involve proceeds of an offence specified in the Schedule to the Act, regardless of the value involved; or

(b) appears to be made in circumstances of unusual or unjustified complexity; or

(c) appears to have no economic rationale or bonafide purpose; or

(d) gives  rise  to  a  reasonable  ground  of  suspicion  that  it may involve financing of the activities relating to terrorism;

Rule 8 after sub-rule (3),  the following proviso shall be inserted at the end, namely:-

“Provided that a banking company, financial institution or intermediary, as the case may be, and its employees shall keep the fact  of furnishing information in respect of transactions referred to in clause (D) of sub-rule (1) of rule 3 strictly confidential.  [Thus, the records of transactions are made STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL!]

In rule 9,-
(a)   for sub-rules (1) and (2), the following sub-rules shall be substituted, namely:-

“(1) Every banking company, financial institution and intermediary, as the case may be, shall,

(a)  at the time of commencement of an account-based relationship, identify its clients, verify their identity and obtain information on the purpose and intended nature of the business relationship,  and

(b) in all other cases, verify identity while carrying out:

(i) transaction of an amount equal to or exceeding rupees fifty thousand, whether conducted as a   single transaction or several transactions that appear to be connected, or

(ii)  any international  money transfer operations.

(1A) Every banking company, financial institution and intermediary, as the case may be, shall identify the beneficial owner and take all reasonable steps to verify his identity.

(1B) Every banking company, financial institution and intermediary, as the case may be, shall exercise ongoing due diligence with respect to the business relationship with every client and closely examine the transactions in order to ensure that they are consistent with their knowledge of the customer, his business  and risk profile.

(1C) No banking company, financial institution or intermediary, as the case may be, shall  keep any anonymous account or account in fictitious names.

(2) Where the client is an individual, he shall for the purpose of sub-rule (1), submit to the banking company, financial institution and intermediary, as the case may be, one certified copy of an ‘officially valid document’ containing details of his identity and address, one recent photograph and such other documents including in respect of the nature of business and financial status of the client as may be required by the banking company or the financial institution or the intermediary, as the case may be.

Provided that photograph need not be submitted by a client falling under clause (b) of sub-rule (1).”;

(b)   after sub-rule (6),  the following sub-rule shall be inserted, namely:-

“(6 A) Where the client is a  juridical person, the banking company, financial institution and intermediary, as the case may be, shall verify that any person purporting to act on behalf of  such client is so authorised and verify the identity of that person.”;

(c) for sub-rule (7), the following sub-rule shall be substituted, namely:-

“ (7) (i)The regulator shall issue guidelines incorporating the requirements of sub- rules (1) to (6A) above and may prescribe enhanced measures to verify the client’s identity taking into consideration type of client, business relationship or nature and value of transactions.

(ii) Every banking company, financial institution and intermediary as the case may be, shall formulate and implement a Client Identification Programme to determine the true identity of its clients, incorporating requirements of sub-rules (1) to (6A) and guidelines issued under clause (i) above.

Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 can be downloaded here.   Click here for SEBI Master circular on Money Laundering.

Accordingly, all authorized persons are advised to furnish Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) to FIU-IND in respect of their money changing activities within 7 days of arriving at a conclusion that a transaction, including attempted transaction, whether or not made in cash, or a series of transaction integrally connected are of suspicious nature. The formats of STR, both manual and electronic, have been made available by FIU-IND in their website [A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.15 & A.P. (FL/RL Series) Circular No.02 dated November 19, 2009]

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More disclosures in ADR/GDR & double 5% creeping acquisition benefit is the amended Takeover Code – Understand here…

SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares & Takeovers - SAST) Regulations, 1997 [Takeover Code] as amended by SEBI (SAST)
(Third Amendment) Regulations, 2009

vide F.No.LAD-NRO/GN/2009-10/20/182131 dated 6/11/2009

In regulation 3, for sub-regulation (2), the following sub-regulation shall be substituted, namely: -
“(2) Nothing contained in regulation 10, regulation 11 and regulation 12 of these regulations shall apply to the acquisition of Global Depository Receipts or American Depository Receipts unless the holders thereof, -
(a) become entitled to exercise voting rights, in any manner whatsoever, on the underlying shares; or
(b) exchange such Depository Receipts with the underlying shares carrying voting rights.”

(ie) Erstwhile there was exemption from Chapter III as such but now it is Regulation 10, 11 & 12, further one more exception from the availability of exemption under regulation 3(2) has been included which provides that the no exemption from the applicability of regulation 10, 11 and 12 of SEBI Takeover Regulations would be available on the acquisition of ADRs or GDRs where the holder is entitled to exercise voting rights on the underlying shares.

In regulation 7, in sub-regulation (1A), after the word and figure “regulation 11” and before the mark and words “, shall disclose purchase”, the words and figure “or under second proviso to sub-regulation (2) of regulation 11” shall be inserted;

(ie) Acquirer who has acquired the shares in terms of the newly inserted proviso to regulation 11(2) is also required to give the disclosure under regulation 7(1A) of SEBI Takeover Code.

In regulation 11,-
in sub-regulation (1), after the words and figure “of the voting rights,”
and before the words “in any financial year”, the words and mark “with post acquisition shareholding or voting rights not exceeding fifty five per cent.,” shall be inserted;
(ie) the acquirer is allowed to increase his shareholding by creeping acquisition to the level of 55% and not beyond it.

In regulation 11, -

(a) in sub regulation (2), (A) after the words “either by himself or through” and before the words “persons acting in concert”, the words “or with” shall be inserted;
(b) in second proviso, after the words, “such acquirer may,” and before the words “without making a public announcement”, the words “notwithstanding the acquisition made under regulation 10 or sub-regulation (1) of regulation 11,” shall be inserted;

(ie) Acquirer can enjoy 5% creeping acquisition under Regulation 10 & 11(1) [when he is between 15% & 55%] and again the new 5% when he is between 55% & 75% in the same financial year.

In regulation 14,-
(a) in sub-regulation (2), the mark “.” occurring at the end shall be
substituted with the mark “:”;
(b) after sub-regulation (2), the following proviso shall be inserted,
“Provided that in case of American Depository Receipts or Global Depository Receipts entitling the holder thereof to exercise voting rights in excess of percentage specified in regulation 10 or regulation 11, on the shares underlying such depository receipts, public announcement shall be made within four working days of acquisition of such depository receipts.”

(ie) Entitlement to exercise the voting rights on the underlying shares of ADR/GDR in excess of percentage specified in regulation 10 or regulation 11 shall also be disclosed within 4 working days in addition to erstwhile conversion of ADR/GDR only.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

SEBI clarification on Insider Trading Amendment in FAQ form

Clarifications on SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 1992 issued on 24th July 2009.  SEBI has amended certain provisions of SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 1992 vide notification dated November 19, 2008 for the purpose of better disclosures and prevention of insider trading. Subsequently we received a few queries from the companies seeking clarification mainly on the interpretation of amendments. The queries received and the clarifications given by us on the same are presented below for information of all the listed companies.

To read the same, click Clarifications on SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 1992

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