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India Approves First Social Stock Exchange 

The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has granted provisional approval to Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) allowing it to set up a social stock exchange. The new exchange will allow direct listings from non-profit organisations and for-profit social enterprises. The creation of a social stock exchange was recommended by a SEBI working group in 2020, being approved last year on the condition that social stock exchanges be housed within an existing stock exchange and that listings would be subject to eligibility criteria, reporting rules, and a requirement to undergo ‘social audits’. Eligible activities for listed firms include eradicating hunger, poverty, malnutrition and inequality; promoting healthcare, supporting education, employability and livelihoods; gender equality and the empowerment of women and other minorities; and supporting social enterprise incubators – among other activities. SEBI’s rules include minimum disclosure requirements, including in relation to qualitative and quantitative aspects of the social impacts generated by projects, particularly for underserved or less privileged populations and regions in India. 

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