Ever since the introduction of framework for prevention of insider trading (“PIT”), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”), as the primary regulator of securities markets has consistently been sharpening its tools to effectively discharge its duty of ensuring market integrity, curbing malpractices and safeguarding interests of investors.Continue Reading Decoding SEBI’s Tech Arsenal for Insider Trading: Structured Digital Database (Part I)
“Forewarned is forearmed” is the cardinal principle underlying company law jurisprudence around the world and the foundation of all disclosure requirements.
Section 129(1) of the Companies Act, 2013 (“Act”), provides that the financial statements (“FS”) shall give a ‘true and fair view’ of the state of affairs of the company, comply with the accounting standards notified under Section 133 of the Act, and also be in the form provided for different classes of companies in Schedule III of the Act.Continue Reading How True is ‘True and Fair’ View?
Across jurisdictions, the mischief of insider trading is sought to be curbed and punished by the market regulators since any securities market of repute would measure its success, among other variables, based on the integrity and fairness of transactions conducted on its platform. As such, the prohibition of insider trading stems from the moral imperative, which demands that there is no information asymmetry between insiders and other shareholders while dealing in listed securities. This effectively translates into restraint being exercised by insiders i.e. the persons who have access to the unpublished price sensitive information in relation to the listed securities in which they deal.Continue Reading Winds of Change – The Recent Judicial and Legislative Developments in Insider Trading Regime
Over the last few decades, there has been a trend where only a small fraction of law stems directly from ‘legislations’ passed by the Parliament. In the sphere of corporate law, the tendency of the law makers is to enact ‘bare-bone’ statutes such as the SEBI Act, 1992 (“SEBI Act”) and the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (“FEMA”), and a bulk of the law is enacted by the designated regulators, such as the MCA, SEBI and RBI.Continue Reading The Rise & Rise of Delegated Legislation – Do we need more Safeguards?
Norms concerning corporate governance in India have evolved over a period of time. Since markets and businesses are inherently dynamic, they continue to evolve globally. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”), to its credit, has been on the ball and contributed significantly towards raising the standards of corporate governance for listed entities in India. The proof of the pudding, however, is in the eating and to this end, this piece examines the relevance of the extant requirement of prior intimation prescribed for listed entities in the current market.
Regulations 29 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015, as amended (“Listing Regulations”), requires a listed entity to intimate the stock exchanges beforehand if its board of directors (“Board”) have a meeting scheduled to consider certain specified proposals, including financial results, buy-back of securities, voluntary delisting and fund raising (intimation is also required for general meeting or postal ballot for this proposal indicating the type of issuance).
Continue Reading Prior Intimation Requirement under the Listing Regulations – A Critique
In an interim ex-parte order last month against the dealers of Reliance Securities Limited (“RSL”) and other related entities (“RSL Order”), SEBI prima facie held over two dozen entities to have engaged in front running the trades of Tata Absolute Return Fund, a scheme of Tata AIF (“Big Client”).
During its preliminary examination, SEBI meticulously pieced together several bits of available circumstantial evidence and alleged an archetypal scheme of front running purportedly employed by three senior dealers (“Dealers”) at RSL, in nexus with various related entities. The RSL Order alleges that once the Dealers at RSL were privy to the non-public information of the impending orders of Big Client, they along with their connected broker or dealer entity would, through multiple trading accounts directly or indirectly controlled by them, place trades either in the Buy-Buy-Sell pattern or Sell-Sell-Buy pattern, around the time of the orders of the Big Client to generate substantial proceeds.
Continue Reading What is Front Running? – A Q&A Piece in Light of the SEBI Order Against Dealers of Reliance Securities Ltd.
Since overhauling the insider trading regime with the introduction of the SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 2015 (“PIT Regulations”), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) has continually sought to fine tune and tweak the regulations through amendments in 2018 and 2019. On July 17, 2020, SEBI notified the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Prohibition of Insider Trading) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (“PIT Amendment”), to introduce further changes to the PIT Regulations.
Continue Reading Recent Amendments to the Insider Trading Regime
In our previous blog post, dated June 12, 2019, we discussed the Securities Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) efforts to institutionalise an informant mechanism for insider trading, through its discussion paper released in June 2019 (Discussion Paper).
The regulator has now formalised this into law through a recent amendment to the Insider Trading Regulations, which came after a SEBI board meeting approved the informant mechanism scheme on August 21 of last month. Interestingly, while the publicly available agenda of the SEBI board meeting states that it had received comments from certain entities on the Discussion Paper, these comments are not publicly available and are stated to have been excised for reasons of confidentiality.
Continue Reading SEBI launches a new hotline: Introduction of the Informant Mechanism into the Insider Trading Regulations
Prosecuting insider trading cases has always been a challenge for the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Primary evidence is difficult to come by, which impacts success rates as well as investigation timelines.
On June 10, 2019, SEBI released a discussion paper (Discussion Paper) proposing amendments to the SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 2015 (Insider Trading Regulations) to establish systems and processes (both within listed companies, as well as, at SEBI) that incentivise individuals to report insider trading violations, if they come to their knowledge. In terms of the Discussion Paper, the informant may be rewarded up to INR 1 crore (approx. USD 150,000) if SEBI undertakes disgorgement of at least INR 5 crores (approx. USD 0.72 million) as a result of any action taken on the basis of true, credible and original information.
Continue Reading Bounty Hunting in Corporate India – Understanding SEBI’s Latest Discussion Paper on the Insider Trading Regulations
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) ended the year with a bang by issuing a number of notifications on December 31, including the SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) (Amendment) Regulations, 2018 (PIT Amendment Regulations). The PIT Amendment Regulations come into force on April 1, 2019 and will have significant impact on the manner in which listed companies and intermediaries navigate the market conduct framework.
Continue Reading A New Year Ushers in the Insider Trading Regulations, 2015 Version 2.0