The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has extended the deadline to convert shares and other securities in physical form to demat from 5 December 2018 to 1 April 2019.
It was earlier informed that in order to be able to keep holding investments, any shares or securities could only be held in dematerialized form starting 5 December. A KYC procedure is also required to be completed.
Investors especially senior citizens rushed to the registrar and agents to complete the required paperwork. Non-convertible debentures and bonds were earlier available in demat as well as physical certificates but all the recent issuances are only being made if investors applied through their demat accounts.
The regulator in a statement said, "SEBI has received representations from shareholders for extension of the date of compliance. In view of the same, the deadline has been extended and the aforesaid requirement of transfer of securities only in demat form shall now come into force from April 1, 2019."
The extension of the deadline will allow investors some time to comply with the new regulatory requirements. The dematerialized format was enforced to protect investors from frauds resulting from unclaimed dividends, among others, as the electronic form will be linked to a bank account.