Nasdaq, a major U.S. stock exchange, is in active discussions with Indian government officials regarding the potential for Indian companies to directly list their shares on foreign exchanges. This development was shared by Edward Knight, Executive Vice Chairman of Nasdaq, in a recent interview.
Presently, Indian companies face restrictions in listing directly on international markets. This limitation has been a subject of debate among global investors and prominent Indian startups, who are pushing for a change in these regulations.
Knight outlined the advantages of allowing Indian companies to list on foreign exchanges like Nasdaq. These benefits primarily include expanded access to capital. He shared these insights while attending a conference near the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT).
Knight highlighted the importance of technology companies having the opportunity to reach global investors. GIFT City, established in 2011 in Gujarat, is designed to be a global financial hub that offers Indian businesses access to international capital markets. However, due to regulatory processes, the direct listing of shares in GIFT’s International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) is still pending.
In October, India’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs revised laws that could eventually allow for direct overseas listings of Indian companies, although specific details remain unclear. There is speculation that the Indian government might first approve listings on the IFSC before moving to direct listings on international exchanges.
Knight noted that India, with the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem, has been major beneficiary of foreign direct investment. Enabling overseas listings could further strengthen this position.
Nasdaq also plans to introduce exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track Nasdaq indexes, especially the Nasdaq 100, in India.
Leading investment firms like Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital, and Lightspeed have pressed the Indian government to accelerate the process, facilitating international listings for better capital access. Knight concluded that this additional listing avenue would benefit not only entrepreneurs but also venture capitalists.