India probes stock price-rigging

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe arrives with flowers to receive blessings at the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, Colombo, Sri Lanka on Wednesday 4 April 2018. On wednesday (4), Wickremesinghe survived a no-confidence motion in the Sri Lankan parliament with a 46 vote majority after a 12-hour debate with 122 MPs voted in his support while 76 MPs voting to remove the prime minister. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI, Asia Pulse (LBO) – India’s market watchdog is probing the role of at least 25 newly-listed firms, which includes the holding company, certain brokers and merchant bankers. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is also probing the possibility of cartelisation among the company promoters, brokers and merchant bankers for rigging the price during the initial public offers (IPOs) and the post-listing trade of shares of their companies.

Separately, Sebi is probing the role of the promoters of some other firms having raised overseas loans through FCCBs (Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds) for any insider trading in their company stocks, sources in the know said.

The regulator is separately investigating the two matters — the one concerning shares of newly-listed firms and the other about the stocks of companies having raised FCCBs — but it fears that the promoters and other market entities might have made unscrupulous gains at the cost of unsuspecting retail investors in both the cases.

Sebi suspected a foul-play in the market after its risk management system noticed wild fluctuations in the share prices of some companies and initial investigations sho