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Sunday,28-February-2021

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SEBI imposes fine on Mukesh Ambani, RIL for ‘manipulative trading’

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Mukesh-Ambani

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 25 crore and Rs 15 crore respectively on Reliance Industries (RIL) and its Chairman Mukesh Ambani for manipulative trading.

The SEBI order observed that RIL had entered into a well-planned operation with its agents to corner the open interest in the RPL (Reliance Petroleum) futures and to earn undue profits from the sale of RPL shares in both cash and futures segments and to dump large number of RPL shares in the cash segment during the last ten minutes of trading on the settlement day resulting in a fall in the settlement price. The case pertains to 2007.

It also observed that Mukesh Ambani being the Chairman & Managing Director of RIL, was responsible for its day-to-day affairs and thereby, liable for the “manipulative trading” done by RIL.

The order noted that Navi Mumbai SEZ Pvt Ltd and Mumbai SEZ Ltd have allegedly aided and abetted RIL by providing funds to one of the agents appointed by RIL, who in turn provided funds to other 11 agents for making the margin payments for the short positions in RPL November Futures.

The capital market regulator imposed penalties of Rs 20 crore and Rs 10 crore on Navi Mumbai SEZ and Mumbai SEZ respectively.

As per SEBI, it was observed that a resolution was passed by the Board of Directors of on March 29, 2007 which approved the operating plan for the year 2007-08 and resource requirements of the next two years — around Rs. 87,000 crore. Thereafter, RIL decided to sell approximately 5 per cnet of its shareholding in RPL (up to 22.5 crore RPL shares) in November 2007.

Subsequently, RIL admittedly appointed 12 agents, between October 30, 2007 to November 3, 2007, to undertake transactions in the November 2007 RPL Futures (settlement period November 1- November 29, 2007) on its behalf.

The said 12 agents appointed by RIL took short positions in the F&O Segment on behalf of RIL, while RIL undertook transactions in RPL shares in the cash segment.

During the period of November 1, 2007 to November 29, 2007, various transactions were undertaken by RIL in the cash segment and by RIL through the agents in the F&O segment. From November 15, 2007 onwards, RIL’s short position in the F&O segment constantly exceeded the proposed sale of shares in the cash segment.

Further, the probe showed that on November 29 2007, RIL sold a total of 2.25 crore shares in the cash segment during the last 10 minutes of trading resulting in fall in the prices of RPL shares, which also lowered the settlement price of RPL November Futures in the F&O Segment.

RIL’s entire outstanding position of 7.97 crores in the F&O Segment was cash settled at this depressed settlement price resulting in profits on the said short positions. The said profits were transferred by the agents to RIL as per a prior agreement, said the order dated January 1.

SEBI noted that an order noted dated March 24, 2017 had directed RIL to disgorge an amount of Rs 447.27 crore along with interest calculated at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from November 29, 2007 onwards till the date of payment.

Further, RIL was prohibited from dealing in equity derivatives in the F&O segment of stock exchanges, directly or indirectly, for a period of one year from the date of the said Order.

“I find it appropriate to consider the direction in the nature of debarment and the disgorgement that has already been passed against RIL herein as a relevant factor while deciding the quantum of penalty,” it said.

“I have also considered the quantum of loans advanced by Noticee-3 (Navi Mumbai SEZ) and Noticee-4 (Mumb ai SEZ) to the agent appointed by RIL. Considering the above, I proceed to impose an appropriate penalty on each of the noticee that serves as a deterrent to the noticees and others indulging in such fraudulent trade practices.”

Business

Fuel prices resurge after 3-day break

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Petrol

Country’s petrol and diesel prices continued its northward march on Saturday, after a three-day break, taking its retail rates to unprecedented levels and burning holes in the consumers pockets.

Oil marketing companies raised the pump price of petrol and diesel by 24 paise and 15 paise per litre on Saturday.

With this, petrol is now priced at Rs 91.17 a litre and diesel Rs 81.47 a litre in the capital.

Across the country as well the petrol and diesel prices increased between 20-30 paise per litre depending on the level of local duty at the state level.

Sources in OMCs said that price rise on Saturday followed movement in product price in global markets. The crude oil is also on boil with benchmark Brent crude still above $66 a barrel now. It was less than $60 a barrel just a few days back.

Petrol and diesel prices have been rising continuously since February 9. In the 14 increases since then, the prices have gone up by Rs 4.22 per litre for petrol and Rs 4.34 a litre for diesel in Delhi.

The increase in the previous weeks has taken petrol to cross historic high levels of Rs 100 a litre in several cities across the country.

In Mumbai, petrol prices is just Rs 2.4 per litre short at Rs 97.57 a litre (from the three digit mark of Rs 100 per litre for the very first time ever). Diesel prices in the city is closing in on Rs 90 a litre (Rs 88.60 a litre).

In all other metros, petrol is over Rs 90 a litre mark while diesel is well over Rs 80 a litre.

Premium petrol crossed Rs 100 per litre mark in several cities of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra a few days back.

Since fuel prices are benchmarked to a 15-day rolling average of global refined products’ prices and dollar exchange rate, pump prices can be expected to remain northbound over the next few days even if crude price stabilises.

The petrol and diesel prices have increased 26 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 7.46 and Rs 7.60 per litre, respectively so far this year.

Oil companies executives said that petrol and diesel prices may increase further in coming days as retail prices may have to be balanced in line with global developments to prevent OMCs from making loss on sale of auto fuels.

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Business

Maruti Suzuki exports 20L vehicles since 1986-87

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Maruti-Suzuki

Automobile Maruti Suzuki India on Saturday said it has accomplished two million (20 lakh) vehicle exports.

Accordingly, Maruti Suzuki commenced export of vehicles in FY1986-87.

The company’s first large consignment of 500 cars was shipped to Hungary in September 1987.

In FY2012-13, the Company achieved the milestone of one-million exports.

“In the first million, more than 50 per cent of exports were undertaken to developed markets in Europe,” the company said in a statement.

According to the statement, Maruti Suzuki achieved the subsequent million in over eight years with special focus on emerging markets in Latin America, Africa and Asia regions.

“With concerted efforts, the Company has been able to gain sizeable share in markets like Chile, Indonesia, South Africa and Sri Lanka. Models such as Alto, Baleno, Dzire and Swift have emerged as popular choices in these markets.”

Currently, we export 14 models, nearly 150 variants, to over 100 countries.

In January this year, the Company started production and export of Suzuki’s celebrated compact off-roader Jimny from India.

“With India as a production base for Jimny, Suzuki aims to leverage Maruti

Suzuki’s global production stature.”

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Business

Nirmala Sitharaman attends G20 Central Bank Governors’ Meet

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Nirmala-Sitharaman

Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has participated virtually in the First G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting under the Italian Presidency to discuss policy actions for transformative and equitable recovery.

The other issues on the agenda on Friday included global economic outlook, financial sector issues, financial inclusion and sustainable finance.

Sitharaman spoke about India’s policy response to the pandemic. She said that India’s domestic policies have been based broadly on supporting citizens through measures such as credit guarantees, direct transfers, food guarantees, economic stimulus packages and accelerating structural reform.

She also spoke about India’s vaccination programme, which is the world’s largest and the most ambitious vaccination drive. She mentioned that India has extended vaccine support to several countries.

During this meeting, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors also discussed the implications of climate change on global growth and financial stability.

Speaking on the Presidency’s proposal to undertake systematic policy dialogue on climate risk and environment taxation, Sitharaman suggested that these conversations should remain within the ambit of Paris Agreement and should be based on the principles of common but differentiated responsibility, respective capability, and the voluntary nature of the commitments.

The Finance Minister also stressed upon the importance of transfer of green technologies and scaling up of climate finance.

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