Maintenance of security cover for secured debt made transparent by SEBI

Debenture trustees responsible for monitoring the security cover and covenants effective October 1, 2022

– Vinita Nair, Senior Partner |


Securities and Exchange Board of India (‘SEBI’) is carrying out radical changes in relation to monitoring the security cover and covenants with respect to listed debt securities. Recently, SEBI amended SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (‘Listing Regulations’) and SEBI (Debenture Trustees) Regulations, 1993 (‘DT Regulations’) and SEBI (Issue and Listing of Non-Convertible Securities) Regulations, 2021 (‘NCS Regulations’) in order to substitute the concept of ‘asset cover’ with ‘security cover’ and accordingly, prescribed the requirement of maintenance and reporting of the security cover in case of listed secured debentures[1].

Monitoring of security cover has always been the key responsibility of the DT and therefore, SEBI in November 2020, had prescribed norms for independent due diligence by DTs for the purpose of creation of security[2] and for periodical monitoring of the security created and enhanced disclosures by DTs[3]. Thereafter, in August, 2021[4] SEBI rolled out the norms for security and covenant monitoring using Distributed Ledger Technology (‘DLT’) and in March, 2022 prescribed operational guidelines for security and covenant monitoring wherein system generated unique identifier (Asset ID) will be generated for each security offered by issuer in order to enable the DTs and Credit Rating Agencies (‘CRAs’) for better tracking[5]. Lastly, on August 4, 2022[6] SEBI issued enhanced guidelines for DTs and listed issuer companies on security creation and initial due diligence which inter-alia provides directions to harmonize the process of creation of security.

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