Indian state-run firms to remain exempt from public shareholding norms - govt

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian state-run companies will continue to be exempt from the minimum public shareholding (MPS) norm that requires listed companies to maintain a 25% public shareholding, a government notification said late on Monday.

The exemptions from the MPS norm will be valid for a "specified period" even if there is a change in ownership or control after the exemption is granted, the notification said.

India's capital market regulator has been giving state-run companies exemptions from the MPS norm for years now.

But extending that exemption for the state-run companies in case they are privatized may coax investors to buy a stake in government companies.

So far, the government's privatisation drive has not taken off as much as expected.

Last month, the regulator said it will relax listing obligations in cases where the federal government sells its majority stake to a private buyer.

(Reporting by Nikunj Ohri, writing by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; editing by Sudipto Ganguly and Savio D'Souza)