India (IN)

Jurisdiction Overview

172 *Are bearer shares available? No, bearer shares are not available/not circulating.
 Data Date: 2017


Although bearer shares are not permitted in India ,"a public company limited by shares may issue share warrants entitling the bearer to the share specified in the warrant. However, these may only be issued with the approval of the Central Government and, if issued to a person not resident in India, the approval of the Reserve Bank of India is also required. The tax administration can use its investigative powers to identify the bearer of the share warrant." (OECD 2010: 181). Nonetheless, The Indian authorities have confirmed that this approval has never been given, at least for the last 20 years, and no such application was ever received during this period. Further, there was no instance when the regulatory authorities came across a situation indicating the issuance of share warrants" (GF 2013: 37). In addition, The Companies Act 2013 contains no provision on the issuance of bearer shares or share warrants to bearer. Therefore, "The Indian authorities consider that, in any event, should share warrants to bearer be issued, the procedures in place would allow the identification of bearer share holders" (GF 2013: 38). In 2017, the Global Forum did not report any changes regarding bearer shares (GF 2017: 45).


GF 2010: 24; APG/FATF 2010: 209; OECD 2010: 181
GF 2017: 45; GF 2013: 37-38