No matter how often they are punished, you apparently cannot keep some hard-boiled scamsters from manipulating stocks. Investigations into the Scam of 2000-01 revealed the sordid role played by a number of Kolkata brokers and their massive off-market dealings with Ketan Parekh, who was named the central figure of the Scam by the Joint Parliamentary Committee Report. Kolkata sources report that a part of the cabal that ruined the market in 2001 and bankrupted Unit Trust of India a few years ago is back in action. They are working with a Mumbai operator, who is again funnelling money into illegal trading operations. Interestingly, an industrialist who is on the run from the police and has been barred from the capital market has changed his name to Mittal and is again dabbling in the share market using FIIs as fronts. These scamsters are actively ramping up an airline scrip that the market grapevine links to a minister in the previous government. The scamsters are also emboldened by former minister for law and company affairs Arun Jaitley throwing all probity to the winds and making himself available to defend scamster and defaulter Ketan Parekh. The BJP too has officially defended that action and even dared to justify it as a professional one.
Net trading woes?
Many Internet traders who have complained that their orders were executed at rates other than those they punched in, have now got some relief. Such errors occurred on rare occasions (there have been barely a dozen reported complaints, of which eight were from ICICI Direct and the rest from other Net broking outfits), but tended to be dismissed as punching mistakes by the service providers and bourses. But last week the NSE finally took cognisance of the complaints and asked the brokerage firms to reimburse the affected investors. It also ordered a systems audit to track these errors and report its findings to the bourse. It has also asked the firms to designate a nodal official to deal with the complaints, check their veracity and compensate investors in genuine cases.
At its recent board meeting, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is understood to have invited Venu Srinivasan (Chairman of TVS Motor Company) to join its board. This slot had remained vacant after Kumar Mangalam Birla’s tenure ended, probably because Birla had found little time to attend the regulator’s meetings. Interestingly, Srinivasan had been invited to be on the board of SEBI’s ambitious ‘‘global securities markets training centre’’ called the National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) that now seems headed for a drastic scaledown. In fact, SEBI has initiated steps to take over the Indian Institute of Capital Markets (formerly UTI Institute) and expand its scope to meet training needs.