Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) Chairman Ajay Tyagi on Wednesday said that retail participation in the equity market has increased since the coronavirus pandemic-led lockdown began.

While addressing a FICCI event Tyagi said that new demat accounts have shot up as several participants were first time investors.

“We have seen huge participation of retail investors in the last few months,” he stated.

Besides, he said that Sebi has come out with host of measures to make it easier for corporates to raise funds as many companies are facing various challenges due to the pandemic. These measures include relaxation in norms pertaining to rights issue, follow-on public offer, qualified institutional placements creeping acquisition of shares by promoters and easier pricing framework for allotment of shares through preferential issue, he added.

To help companies having stressed assets raise capital through preferential allotment, Sebi has relaxed pricing methodology for such issues and exempted allottees from open offer obligations.