June 9, 2017 / 12:43 PM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Indian regulator conditionally approves new head of NSE bourse

(Updates with quote, details, background)

By Abhirup Roy

MUMBAI, June 9 (Reuters) - India’s market regulator on Friday approved the appointment of Vikram Limaye, head of infrastructure lender IDFC Ltd, as the next managing director and chief executive of National Stock Exchange (NSE), subject to his resignation from a cricket committee.

The conditional approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), announced by the NSE on Friday, comes four months after the country’s largest bourse nominated Limaye for the post, an unusually long time.

Sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters SEBI had been concerned the executive’s time would be split if he were to remain a member of a Supreme Court appointed committee to supervise the country’s cricket body after a 2013 fixing scandal.

“SEBI has approved the appointment of Mr. Vikram Limaye as the MD and CEO of the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd, subject interalia to his being relieved from his BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) assignment,” NSE said in a statement.

No specific date was provided for when Limaye would take over as CEO.

The appointment of Limaye removes one of the key hurdles as NSE pursues a long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) that bankers say could raise as much as $1 billion.

NSE applied for the IPO in December, but SEBI has delayed that approval as well, as it probes the NSE’s disclosure that some brokers may have been given unfair access to its servers.

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters the exchange is pursuing a settlement of the probe, in hopes for winning SEBI’s approval of the IPO.

NSE has been operating under an acting CEO after former head Chitra Ramkrishna unexpectedly resigned in December, citing personal reasons.

Ramkrishna’s exit has been followed by a spate of resignations from board members and other senior executives, including former CEO Ravi Narain.

NSE Chairman Ashok Chawla said this week he expected the exchange to go public before the end of 2017.

Limaye, a 50-year-old finance industry veteran, will be the first head of NSE to come from outside the ranks of the founding team of the exchange, which was set up in 1992.

A chartered accountant with an MBA in finance from the Wharton School, Limaye has worked in a variety of roles in investment banking, capital markets and structured finance and has been part of various government committees and industry associations. He had been with IDFC since 2005.

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