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.”
Small LPG cylinders, financial services at FPS proposed
The Centre on Wednesday proposed to sell small LPG cylinders through Fair Price Shops (FPS) across the country.
There is a proposal to provide financial services through FPS and extending MUDRA loans to its dealers for capital augmentation.
There are a total of 5.32 lakh FPS in the country. With this step, the Centre is aiming at taking its services closer to poorer and needy consumers.
Focussing on enhancing financial viability of FPS, Department of Food and Public Distribution Secretary, Sudhanshu Pandey in a video conference with representatives of multiple ministries and PSUs stressed on the need of taking proactive measures for the same.
The representatives from oil marketing companies appreciated the proposal for retail selling of small LPG cylinders through FPS and informed that “necessary support required would be provided for the same in coordination with interested state or Union Territory (UT) governments,” said a release from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in New Delhi.
The representative from the Department of Financial Services appreciated the government’s proposal to provide financial services through FPS, extending MUDRA loans to FPS dealers for capital augmentation and informed that necessary support would be provided for it in coordination with interested state or UT governments.
Earlier, the CEO, Common Service Centre (CSC), gave a presentation about the various service offerings provided by it. An update on the activities undertaken by CSC to tie-up with individual state or UT governments to take this initiative forward was presented, too.
Set up under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the CSC scheme provides a centralised and collaborative framework for delivery of services to the citizens.
In his concluding remarks, Sudhanshu Pandey mentioned that different states or UTs can take up these initiatives and tailor them to suit their individual requirements.
Representatives from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, CSC e-Governance Services India Limited and all states/UTs participated in the virtual conference, the release added.
Google logs record $18.9 bn profit, Search and YouTube soar
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has posted an all-time record revenue of $61.9 billion for the July-September quarter, along with record profits at $18.9 billion.
Google Services revenues were $59.9 billion, up 41 per cent, and Google Search and other advertising revenues of $37.9 million in the quarter were up 44 per cent.
The company said in a statement late on Tuesday that YouTube advertising revenues of $7.2 billion were up 43 per cent due to strength in both direct response and brand advertising.
“Our long-term investments in AI and Google Cloud are helping us drive significant improvements in everyone’s digital experience,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google.
“Search remains the heart of what we do. We have made remarkable advances over the past 23 years that benefits Search and related products like Google Assistant, which just celebrated five years,” he added.
For Google Cloud, the revenues were $5 billion for the third quarter, up 45 per cent.
“Google Cloud Platform’s (GCP) revenue growth was again above cloud overall, reflecting significant growth in both infrastructure and platform services,” said Ruth Porat, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
At the Alphabet level, headcount grew by nearly 6,000 in the third quarter, including seasonal campus hires.
“We expect robust headcount growth in Q4 for both Google Services and Google Cloud,” the company said.
Alphabet said that with respect to foreign exchange impact on reported revenues, it expects virtually no impact in Q4 in contrast to a 1.5 per cent tailwind in Q3 and 4 per cent in its Q2.
Petrol, diesel rates raised again by 35 paise/ltr
Petrol and diesel prices increased again on Wednesday after a two-day break as global oil prices failed to relent and continued to remain firm.
Accordingly, the pump price of petrol in Delhi increased by 35 paise per litre to jump to Rs 107.94 a litre while diesel prices also increased by the same margin to reach Rs 96.67 a litre, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
In the financial capital Mumbai, petrol prices have now risen to Rs 113.80 per litre while diesel to Rs 104.8 5 a litre, the highest among all metros.
Across the country as well petrol and diesel prices increased between 35-40 paise per litre, but their retail rates varied depending on the level of local taxes on petroleum products.
The fuel prices remained static last week on Monday and Tuesday, but had risen for four straight days by 35 paise per litre previously before again rising for five consecutive days between Wednesday and Sunday. It remained static again on Monday and Tuesday before rising again on Wednesday. There was no change in rates on October 12 and 13.
Diesel prices have now increased for 25 of the last 33 days taking up its retail price by Rs 8.15 per litre in Delhi.
With diesel prices rising sharply, the fuel is now available at over Rs 100 a litre in several parts of the country. This dubious distinction was earlier available to petrol that had crossed Rs 100 a litre-mark across the country a few months earlier.
Petrol prices had maintained stability since September 5, but oil companies finally raised the pump prices last week and this week given a spurt in the product prices lately. Petrol prices have also risen on 22 of the previous 29 days taking up its pump price by Rs 6.75 per litre.
Crude prices have been on a surge rising over three year high level of over $ 86 a barrel now as global demand remains firm while OPEC+ continues to move slowly on increasing production. Since September 5, when both petrol and diesel prices were revised, the price of petrol and diesel in the international market is higher by around $9-10 per barrel as compared to average prices during August.
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