SEBI freezes demat, bank accounts of one Ashok Bhagat

The market regulator has ordered freezing of demat and bank account of one Ashok Bhagat to recover Rs97 lakh in the Empower Industries case

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has ordered attachment of bank and demat accounts of one Ashok Bhagat to recover dues worth about Rs97 lakh in Empower Industries India Ltd case.


The dues include penalty worth Rs82 lakh imposed on Bhagat by SEBI in January last year on charges of violating capital market norms in the matter of Empower Industries.


In an attachment order dated 11 July 2014, SEBI has asked banks to attach all accounts, including lockers held by him.


Similarly, the regulator has directed depositories - NSDL and CDSL -- to attach all demat accounts of the defaulter.


SEBI informed the banks and the depositories that there was "sufficient reason" to believe that defaulter may dispose of the amounts in the accounts and "realisation of amount due under the certificate would in consequence be delayed or obstructed".


The regulator has also asked banks to attach the lockers held by him as well as "all other amount/ proceeds due or may become due to the defaulters or any other money held or may subsequently hold for or on account of defaulter".


It has further ordered the banks and depositories that with immediate effect no debit would be made in these accounts until further directions from the market regulator.


However, the credits, if any, into the account may be allowed, SEBI said.


The watchdog has also asked for various details of the accounts held by him, including account statements.


Amazon’s house on fire

According to the FTC lawsuit, Amazon’s set up allowed children playing kids’ games to spend unlimited amounts of money to purchase items as they played, such as coins or stars and that kids may not have been able to distinguish which items cost actual money and which cost virtual currency

Thousands of consumers are due millions in refunds for unauthorized charges billed to their credit cards by for amounts racked up by their children playing apps, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleged in a lawsuit filed last week.

The suit, filed in Washington federal court, charges that Amazon’s set up allowed children playing kids’ games to spend unlimited amounts of money to purchase items as they played, such as coins or stars, without parents’ permission and that kids may not have been able to distinguish which items cost actual money and which cost virtual currency. Amazon keeps 30 percent of all in-app charges –which can range from 99 cents to $99 — and has a no-refund policy on these types of charges.

‘Not a hack but nearly as bad’

One parent complained to the FTC that she was billed more than $300 in charges her daughter ran up. Another parent’s six-year old child pushed buttons at random and incurred charges on a gaming app.

The commission said Amazon knew within a month of introducing the in-app charge system in 2011 that it was causing problems for customers and that internal emails described the situation as “near house on fire.” In March 2012 Amazon began requiring passwords to confirm in-app charges but only those exceeding $20. Last year, Amazon adjusted its in-app charge system to require passwords but sometimes the passwords were stored and customers weren’t always presented with the prompt, and even if they were, the prompt did not provide the amount of the charge, the FTC alleged in its suit.

One Amazon customer service representative told a parent, according to the suit:

It’s not a hack, but nearly as bad: it’s an in-game purchase. A user, such as a child, can easily misinterpret the option to spend actual money as just part of the game.

Basic consumer rights

FTC Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich said the suit against Amazon is part of a continued effort by the agency to enforce a crucial tenant of consumer rights, which is that consumers should not be billed for charges without informed consent.

In March the FTC settled a similar complaint with Apple for allegedly unfairly charging parents for in-app purchases made by their children without their consent. Apple agreed to refund customers $32.5 million and change its billing practices. Rich said Apple is in the process of complying with that settlement.

Last week, the FTC filed a complaint against T-Mobile alleging it bilked customers out of hundreds of millions of dollars in a cramming scheme.

Amazon defended itself in a July 1 letter to the FTC and called the lawsuit “deeply disappointing.” Amazon Associate General Counsel and Vice President Andrew DeVore said:

In-app purchasing was and remains a new and rapidly evolving segment, and we have consistently improved the customer experience in response to data….Pursuing litigation against a company whose practices were lawful from the outset and that already meet or exceed the requirements of the Apple consent order makes no sense, and is an unfortunate misallocation of the Commission’s resources.

While the FTC acknowledged that Amazon has refunded some customers who complained to the company, Rich said the commission is seeking full refunds for all affected consumers and a court order ensuring that Amazon will obtain permission before imposing charges for in-app purchases. It is also requesting Amazon give up the revenue it gained from these charges. The FTC, however, is not seeking penalties.



Sensex, Nifty up with Asian market – Tuesday closing report

If the Nifty manages to close above 7,570, we may see it rising further

We had mentioned on Monday that if the benchmark manages to hold above the day's low, we may get a short rally next day. Breaking five days of negative moves, the Indian benchmark indices covered up more than half of the past two day’s losses on Tuesday and closed near the day’s high.

The S&P BSE Sensex opened at 25,101 while NSE's CNX Nifty opened at 7,491. Sensex hit a low of 25,020 while Nifty hit a low of 7,459. From the day’s low both the indices reached up to 25,254 and 7,535, respectively. Sensex closed at 25,229 (up 222 points or 0.89%) while Nifty closed at 7,527 (up 73 points or 0.97%). The NSE recorded a volume of 83.33 crore shares. India VIX fell 5.11% to close at 14.7675.

Except for Pharma (0.51%), IT (0.14%) and FMCG (0.14%) all the other indices closed in the green. The top five gainers were PSU Bank (4.04%), Nifty Midcap 50 (2.88%), Bank Nifty (2.78%), Midcap (2.27%) and CPSE (2.24%).

Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 39 ended in the green. The top five gainers were State Bank of India (4.34%), Bhel (4.23%), Bank of Baroda (4.00%), NMDC (3.54%) and DLF (3.53%). The top five losers were Dr Reddy (1.86%), Asian Paints (1.61%), Hero MotoCorp (1.49%), NTPC (1.42%) and TCS (1.04%).

Of the 1,595 companies on the NSE, 1,134 companies closed in the green, 410 companies closed in the red while 51 companies closed flat.

The data released by the government after trading hours on Monday showed the annual rate of inflation based on the combined consumer price indices (CPI) for urban and rural India eased to 7.31% in June 2014, from 8.28% in May 2014. The rate of inflation based on the combined consumer food price indices (CFPI) for urban and rural India eased to 7.97% in June 2014, from 9.56% in May 2014, the data showed. Core CPI inflation which excludes food and energy prices, eased to 7.39% in June 2014, from 7.71% in May 2014.

SBI (4.32%) was the top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack. State Bank of India has cut the interest rate on bulk and retail term deposits by up to 50 basis points on short-term deposits of less than one-year duration. In the case of retail deposits interest rate has been cut by 50 basis points to 7% (from 7.5%) on term deposit in the 7 to 179 days of maturity.
In the case of bulk deposits, SBI has cut the interest rate by 25 basis points each on term deposits in two maturity period — 7 to 60 days (to 6.25%) and 61 days to less than 1 year (to 6.75%). The new deposit rates are with effect from July 18.

NTPC had approached CERC with a request to reconsider the tariff regulations for 2014-19. This was rejected by the commission.  NTPC will continue to pursue legal action against new tariff determination parameters. NTPC (1.46%) was among the top three losers in the Sensex 30 stock.

Financial Technologies was holding 26% in MCX as on June 2014. It sold 10,19,000 shares of the company on 8th July 2014. On the same day Rakesh Jhunjhunwala brought 10,00,000 shares in the company. Financial Technologies (10%) and MCX (8.81%) were among the top two gainers in the ‘A’ group on the BSE.

Piramal Enterprises traded ex-dividend on Tuesday. The company declared a dividend of Rs 52.50 per share for the year ending March 2014. Face value per share is Rs 2. Piramal Enterprises (9.78%) was the top loser in the ‘A’ group on the BSE.

US indices closed in the positive on Monday. Market awaits Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony before the congress due later in the day.

Except for NZSE 50 (0.24%) all the other trading Asian indices closed in the green. Jakarta Composite (0.99%) was the top gainer.

The Bank of Japan kept its record stimulus unchanged and forecasted that inflation will pick up to its 2% price target. The central bank stuck with its goal of an annual increase in the monetary base of between 60 trillion yen and 70 trillion yen ($690 billion), it said in a statement today, 15 July 2014 in Tokyo at the end of a two-day monetary policy review.

European indices were trading in the negative while US Futures were trading in the positive.


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