Former CCI head Ashok Chawla may be new chairman of NSE

MUMBAI: The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has nominated Ashok Chawla, the former head of the Competition Commission of India, to become its new chairman, three sources close to the matter told Reuters.

The nomination comes after NSE said on April 6 that SB Mathur had stepped down as chairman after completion of his term of office.

Chawla’s appointment at the country’s biggest bourse would need to be approved by Securities and Exchange Board of India which oversees exchanges in the country. “It’s not finalised yet,” said one of the sources regarding Chawla’s appointment, adding a decision from Sebi could come as early as next week.

The National Stock Exchange and Sebi did not respond immediately to requests for comment. If approved, Chawla would become chairman at a time when NSE is being criticised by some of its minority shareholders over the timing for a planned listing and accused of corporate governance lapses. NSE has publicly rejected these accusations.

Five shareholders, including SAIF II-SE Investments Mauritius and Norwest Venture Partners last month said NSE had “blatantly disregarded” the interest of its minority shareholders, including through a lack of communication and misrepresenting minutes of meetings.

“Some of the actions of developments over the recent past are neither aligned with shareholders’ interests nor in line with industry best practices on corporate governance,” these shareholders wrote in a letter dated March 7 and addressed to former NSE chairman SB Mathur that was seen by Reuters.