SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 2015
The relevant extracts of the SEBI PIT regulations applicable to PMS, IA, RA and AIF listed below
2. (1) In these regulations, unless the context otherwise requires, the following words, expressions and derivations therefrom shall have the meanings assigned to them as under:–
(c) “compliance officer” means any senior officer, designated so and reporting to the board of directors or head of the organization in case board is not there, who is financially literate and is capable of appreciating requirements for legal and regulatory compliance under these regulations and who shall be responsible for compliance of policies, procedures, maintenance of records, monitoring adherence to the rules for the preservation of unpublished price sensitive information, monitoring of trades and the implementation of the codes specified in these regulations under the overall supervision of the board of directors of the listed company or the head of an organization, as the case may be.
[Explanation – For the purpose of this regulation, “financially literate” shall mean a person who has the ability to read and understand basic financial statements i.e. balance sheet, profit and loss account, and statement of cash flows];
(d) “connected person” means,-
(i) any person who is or has during the six months prior to the concerned act been associated with a company, directly or indirectly, in any capacity including by reason of frequent communication with its officers or by being in any contractual, fiduciary or employment relationship or by being a director, officer or an employee of the company or holds any position including a professional or business relationship between himself and the company whether temporary or permanent, that allows such person, directly or indirectly, access to unpublished price sensitive information or is reasonably expected to allow such access.
(ii) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the persons falling within the following categories shall be deemed to be connected persons unless the contrary is established, –
(a) an immediate relative of connected persons specified in clause (i); or
(b) a holding company or associate company or subsidiary company; or
(c) an intermediary as specified in section 12 of the Act or an employee or director thereof; or
(d) an investment company, trustee company, asset management company or an employee or director thereof; or
(e) an official of a stock exchange or of clearing house or corporation; or
(f) a member of board of trustees of a mutual fund or a member of the board of directors of the asset management company of a mutual fund or is an employee thereof; or
(g) a member of the board of directors or an employee, of a public financial institution as defined in section 2 (72) of the Companies Act, 2013; or
(h) an official or an employee of a self-regulatory organization recognised or authorized by the Board; or
(i) a banker of the company; or
(j) a concern, firm, trust, Hindu undivided family, company or association of persons wherein a director of a company or his immediate relative or banker of the company, has more than ten per cent. of the holding or interest;
NOTE: It is intended that a connected person is one who has a connection with the company that is expected to put him in possession of unpublished price sensitive information. Immediate relatives and other categories of persons specified above are also presumed to be connected persons but such a presumption is a deeming legal fiction and is rebuttable. This definition is also intended to bring into its ambit persons who may not seemingly occupy any position in a company but are in regular touch with the company and its officers and are involved in the know of the company’s operations. It is intended to bring within its ambit those who would have access to or could access unpublished price sensitive information about any company or class of companies by virtue of any connection that would put them in possession of unpublished price sensitive information.
(f) “immediate relative” means a spouse of a person, and includes parent, sibling, and child of such person or of the spouse, any of whom is either dependent financially on such person, or consults such person in taking decisions relating to trading in securities;
NOTE: It is intended that the immediate relatives of a “connected person” too become connected persons for purposes of these regulations. Indeed, this is a rebuttable presumption.
(g) “insider” means any person who is:
i) a connected person; or
ii) in possession of or having access to unpublished price sensitive information;
NOTE: Since “generally available information” is defined, it is intended that anyone in possession of or having access to unpublished price sensitive information should be considered an “insider” regardless of how one came in possession of or had access to such information. Various circumstances are provided for such a person to demonstrate that he has not indulged in insider trading. Therefore, this definition is intended to bring within its reach any person who is in receipt of or has access to unpublished price sensitive information. The onus of showing that a certain person was in possession of or had access to unpublished price sensitive information at the time of trading would, therefore, be on the person leveling the charge after which the person who has traded when in possession of or having access to unpublished price sensitive information may demonstrate that he was not in such possession or that he has not traded or or he could not access or that his trading when in possession of such information was squarely covered by the exonerating circumstances.
(n) “unpublished price sensitive information” means any information, relating to a company or its securities, directly or indirectly, that is not generally available which upon becoming generally available, is likely to materially affect the price of the securities and shall, ordinarily including but not restricted to, information relating to the following: –
(i) financial results;
(iii) change in capital structure;
(iv) mergers, de-mergers, acquisitions, delistings, disposals and expansion of business and such other transactions;
(v) changes in key managerial personnel.
NOTE: It is intended that information relating to a company or securities, that is not generally available would be unpublished price sensitive information if it is likely to materially affect the price upon coming into the public domain. The types of matters that would ordinarily give rise to unpublished price sensitive information have been listed above to give illustrative guidance of unpublished price sensitive information.
Code of Conduct.
9. (1) The board of directors of every listed company and the board of directors or head(s) of the organisation of every intermediary shall ensure that the chief executive officer or managing director] shall formulate a code of conduct with their approval to regulate, monitor and report trading by its designated persons and immediate relatives of designated persons] towards achieving compliance with these regulations, adopting the minimum standards set out in Schedule B (in case of a listed company) and Schedule C (in case of an intermediary) to these regulations, without diluting the provisions of these regulations in any manner.
Explanation – For the avoidance of doubt it is clarified that intermediaries, which are listed, would be required to formulate a code of conduct to regulate, monitor and report trading by their designated persons, by adopting the minimum standards set out in Schedule B with respect to trading in their own securities and in Schedule C with respect to trading in other securities.
NOTE: It is intended that every company whose securities are listed on stock exchanges and every [intermediary] registered with SEBI is mandatorily required to formulate a code of conduct governing trading by [designated persons and their immediate relatives]. The standards set out in the [schedules] are required to be addressed by such code of conduct.
(2) The board of directors or head(s) of the organisation, of every other person who is required to handle unpublished price sensitive information in the course of business operations shall formulate a code of conduct to regulate, monitor and report trading by their designated persons and immediate relative of designated persons towards achieving compliance with these regulations, adopting the minimum standards set out in Schedule C to these regulations, without diluting the provisions of these regulations in any manner.
Explanation – Professional firms such as auditors, accountancy firms, law firms, analysts, insolvency professional entities, consultants, banks etc., assisting or advising listed companies shall be collectively referred to as fiduciaries for the purpose of these regulations.
NOTE: This provision is intended to mandate persons other than listed companies and intermediaries that are required to handle unpublished price sensitive information to formulate a code of conduct governing trading in securities by their designated persons. These entities include professional firms such as auditors, accountancy firms, law firms, analysts, insolvency professional entities, consultants, banks etc., assisting or advising listed companies. Even entities that normally operate outside the capital market may handle unpublished price sensitive information. This provision would mandate all of them to formulate a code of conduct.
(3) Every listed company, intermediary and other persons formulating a code of conduct shall identify and designate a compliance officer to administer the code of conduct and other requirements under these regulations.
NOTE: This provision is intended to designate a senior officer as the compliance officer with the responsibility to administer the code of conduct and monitor compliance with these regulations.
(4) For the purpose of sub regulation (1) and (2), the board of directors or such other analogous authority shall in consultation with the compliance officer specify the designated persons to be covered by the code of conduct on the basis of their role and function in the organisation and the access that such role and function would provide to unpublished price sensitive information in addition to seniority and professional designation and shall include:-
(i) Employees of such listed company, intermediary or fiduciary designated on the basis of their functional role or access to unpublished price sensitive information in the organization by their board of directors or analogous body;
(ii) Employees of material subsidiaries of such listed companies designated on the basis of their functional role or access to unpublished price sensitive information in the organization by their board of directors;
(iii) All promoters of listed companies and promoters who are individuals or investment companies for intermediaries or fiduciaries;
(iv) Chief Executive Officer and employees upto two levels below Chief Executive Officer of such listed company, intermediary, fiduciary and its material subsidiaries irrespective of their functional role in the company or ability to have access to unpublished price sensitive information;
(v) Any support staff of listed company, intermediary or fiduciary such as IT staff or secretarial staff who have access to unpublished price sensitive information.
Institutional Mechanism for Prevention of Insider trading.
9A. (1) The Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director or such other analogous person of a listed company, intermediary or fiduciary shall put in place adequate and effective system of internal controls to ensure compliance with the requirements given in these regulations to prevent insider trading.
(2) The internal controls shall include the following:
(a). all employees who have access to unpublished price sensitive information are identified as designated person;
(b). all the unpublished price sensitive information shall be identified and its confidentiality shall be maintained as per the requirements of these regulations;
(c). adequate restrictions shall be placed on communication or procurement of unpublished price sensitive information as required by these regulations;
(d). lists of all employees and other persons with whom unpublished price sensitive information is shared shall be maintained and confidentiality agreements shall be signed or notice shall be served to all such employees and persons;
(e). all other relevant requirements specified under these regulations shall be complied with;
(f). periodic process review to evaluate effectiveness of such internal controls.
(3) The board of directors of every listed company and the board of directors or head(s) of the organisation of intermediaries and fiduciaries shall ensure that the Chief Executive Officer or the Managing Director or such other analogous person ensures compliance with regulation 9 and sub-regulations (1) and (2) of this regulation.
(4) The Audit Committee of a listed company or other analogous body for intermediary or fiduciary shall review compliance with the provisions of these regulations at least once in a financial year and shall verify that the systems for internal control are adequate and are operating effectively.
(5) Every listed company shall formulate written policies and procedures for inquiry in case of leak of unpublished price sensitive information or suspected leak of unpublished price sensitive information, which shall be approved by board of directors of the company and accordingly initiate appropriate inquiries on becoming aware of leak of unpublished price sensitive information or suspected leak of unpublished price sensitive information and inform the Board promptly of such leaks, inquiries and results of such inquiries.
(6) The listed company shall have a whistle-blower policy and make employees aware of such policy to enable employees to report instances of leak of unpublished price sensitive information.
(7) If an inquiry has been initiated by a listed company in case of leak of unpublished price sensitive information or suspected leak of unpublished price sensitive information, the relevant intermediaries and fiduciaries shall co-operate with the listed company in connection with such inquiry conducted by listed company.
[See sub-regulation (1) and sub-regulation (2) of regulation 9]
Minimum Standards for Code of Conduct for Intermediaries and Fiduciaries to Regulate, Monitor and Report Trading by Designated Persons
1. The compliance officer shall report to the board of directors or head(s) of the organisation (or committee constituted in this regard) and in particular, shall provide reports to the Chairman of the Audit Committee or other analogous body, if any, or to the Chairman of the board of directors or head(s) of the organisation at such frequency as may be stipulated by the board of directors or head(s) of the organization but not less than once in a year.
2. All information shall be handled within the organisation on a need-to-know basis and no unpublished price sensitive information shall be communicated to any person except in furtherance of legitimate purposes, performance of duties or discharge of legal obligations. The code of conduct shall contain norms for appropriate Chinese Wall procedures, and processes for permitting any designated person to “cross the wall”.
3. Designated persons and immediate relatives of designated persons in the organisation shall be governed by an internal code of conduct governing dealing in securities.
4. Designated persons may execute trades subject to compliance with these regulations. Trading by designated persons shall be subject to pre- clearance by the compliance officer(s), if the value of the proposed trades is above such thresholds as the board of directors or head(s) of the organisation may stipulate.
5. The compliance officer shall confidentially maintain a list of such securities as a “restricted list” which shall be used as the basis for approving or rejecting applications for pre-clearance of trades.
6. Prior to approving any trades, the compliance officer shall seek declarations to the effect that the applicant for pre-clearance is not in possession of any unpublished price sensitive information. He shall also have regard to whether any such declaration is reasonably capable of being rendered inaccurate.
7. The code of conduct shall specify any reasonable timeframe, which in any event shall not be more than seven trading days, within which trades that have been pre-cleared have to be executed by the designated person, failing which fresh pre-clearance would be needed for the trades to be executed.
8. The code of conduct shall specify the period, which in any event shall not be less than six months, within which a designated person who is a connected person of the listed company and is permitted to trade in the securities of such listed company, shall not execute a contra trade. The compliance officer may be empowered to grant relaxation from strict application of such restriction for reasons to be recorded in writing provided that such relaxation does not violate these regulations. Should a contra trade be executed, inadvertently or otherwise, in violation of such a restriction, the profits from such trade shall be liable to be disgorged for remittance to the Board for credit to the Investor Protection and Education Fund administered by the Board under the Act.
Provided that this shall not be applicable for trades pursuant to exercise of stock options.
9. The code of conduct shall stipulate such formats as the board of directors or head(s) of the organisation (or committee constituted in this regard) deems necessary for making applications for pre-clearance, reporting of trades executed, reporting of decisions not to trade after securing pre-clearance, and for reporting level of holdings in securities at such intervals as may be determined as being necessary to monitor compliance with these regulations.
10. Without prejudice to the power of the Board under the Act, the code of conduct shall stipulate the sanctions and disciplinary actions, including wage freeze, suspension, recovery, etc., that may be imposed, by the intermediary or fiduciary required to formulate a code of conduct under sub-regulation (1) and sub-regulation (2) of regulation 9, for the contravention of the code of conduct. Any amount collected under this clause shall be remitted to the Board for credit to the Investor Protection and Education Fund administered by the Board under the Act.
11. The code of conduct shall specify that in case it is observed by the intermediary or fiduciary required to formulate a code of conduct under sub-regulation (1) or sub-regulation (2) of regulation 9, respectively, that there has been a violation of these regulations, such intermediary or fiduciary shall promptly inform the stock exchange(s) where the concerned securities are traded, in such form and such manner as may be specified by the Board from time to time.
12. All designated persons shall be required to disclose name and Permanent Account Number or any other identifier authorized by law of the following to the intermediary or fiduciary on an annual basis and as and when the information changes:
(a) immediate relatives
(b) persons with whom such designated person(s) shares a material financial relationship
(c) Phone, mobile, and cell numbers which are used by them
In addition, names of educational institutions from which designated persons have graduated and names of their past employers shall also be disclosed on a one time basis.
Explanation – the term “material financial relationship” shall mean a relationship in which one person is a recipient of any kind of payment such as by way of a loan or gift from a designated person during the immediately preceding twelve months, equivalent to at least 25% of the annual income of such designated person but shall exclude relationships in which the payment is based on arm’s length transactions.
13. Intermediaries and fiduciaries shall have a process for how and when people are brought ‘inside’ on sensitive transactions. Individuals should be made aware of the duties and responsibilities attached to the receipt of Inside Information, and the liability that attaches to misuse or unwarranted use of such information.