New Delhi– The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to raise foreign shareholding limit in Indian stock exchanges from 5 to 15 per cent, an official statement said.

The decision, taken at a meeting of the cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will increase shareholding limits for foreign stock exchanges, depositories, banks, insurance companies and commodity derivative exchanges.

Jaitley-US“The cabinet has also approved the proposal to allow foreign portfolio investors to acquire shares through initial allotment, besides secondary market, in the stock exchanges,” the statement said.

“The move will help in enhancing global competitiveness of Indian stock exchanges by accelerating, facilitating the adoption of latest technology and global best practices which will lead to overall growth and development of the Indian capital market,” it said, adding that the approval was in pursuance of implementation of the union budget 2016-17 announcement made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley regarding reforms in FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) policy in Indian stock exchanges.

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) welcomed the Union Cabinet’s decision.

“NSE has always aligned itself with global best practices. Exchange believes that government’s decision is in sync with the spirit of globalisation,” said its Managing Director and Chief Executive Chitra Ramkrishna.