Through a circular dated September 30, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has extended the deadline for top-listed entities to confirm, deny or clarify market rumours reported in the mainstream media, by four months. Accordingly, the top 100 listed entities and the top 250 listed companies by market capitalization would be required to verify market rumours w.e.f. February 1, 2024, and August 1, 2024, respectively.
Earlier, listed entities could, on their “own initiative”, confirm or deny the veracity of media reports on any event or information. On June 14, 2023, the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 were amended, making it mandatory for the top 100 listed entities and the top 250 listed entities to confirm, deny or clarify any market rumours reported in mainstream media which are non-generic in nature, indicating that potential material information may be circulating among investors. Here, mainstream media includes print or electronic mode of newspapers registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India, news channels permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, etc.
As per the said amendment, the verification has to be done within 24 hours of such reporting. Before its implementation was postponed, this requirement was said to be effective from October 1, 2023, for the top 100 listed entities and from April 1, 2024, for the top 250 listed entities.