SEBI imposes Rs40 lakh fine on Rich Universe Network, its CMD

SEBI slapped a fine of Rs25 lakh on Rich Universe Network and another Rs15 lakh on the company's CMD Shashwat Agarwal for not furnishing information related to alleged irregularity in the shares of the company

Mumbai: the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) imposed a penalty of Rs40 lakh on Rich Universe Network and its chairman and managing director for not furnishing information sought by the market regulator related to alleged irregularity in the shares of the company, reports PTI.


SEBI slapped a fine of Rs25 lakh on Rich Universe Network and another Rs15 lakh on the company’s chairman and managing director (CMD)—Shashwat Agarwal.


“I impose a penalty of Rs25 lakh upon Rich Universe Network and a penalty of Rs15 lakh upon Shashwat Agarwal and thus a total penalty of Rs40 lakh, under the provisions ...” SEBI's Adjudicating Officer PK Kuriachen said in the order.


However, SEBI disposed the case against the company's directors—Rajeev Agarwal, Sanjay Gupta and Dhrupesh Shah—as the allegations against them could not be established.


It also said the proceedings against another company director, KK Agarwal, ‘abated’ as he had expired.


SEBI had conducted a probe into the alleged irregularity in the share trading of Rich Universe Network (earlier known as Rich Capital & Financial Services) from 1st February to 24 September 2010.


It was revealed that the company’s shares opened at Rs56.75 on 1 February 2010, reached a high of Rs119.90 on 2 September 2010 and closed at Rs111.80 on 24 September 2010.


As per SEBI, a group of entities had indulged in circular trading, created artificial volume and influenced the price of firm's shares.


In order to further analyse the violations committed by the several entities, SEBI’s Investigating Authority (IA) had issued a summons to the company and its CMD requiring them to provide certain information documents, which they failed to furnish and thereby hampered the probe.


SEBI said the summons were not independently issued to the company’s directors but were referred to the company and its CMD.


It observed that the available records did not show the directors of being charge of company’s day-to-day affairs and were having knowledge or participated in any of such issues being done by the company or its managing director.


SEBI said the directors “cannot be made responsible for the failure on the part of company in not furnishing the information/documents etc, and only company and Shashwat Agarwal (being CMD) can be made responsible for such failure”.


Bankers want RBI to focus on growth, seek cut in repo, CRR

Bankers have asked the central bank for a cut in both repo and CRR in the upcoming policy review

Mumbai: Leading bankers met top brass of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), impressing upon them the need to shift focus of monetary policy to growth and sought reduction in the repo rate and the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 0.5%, reports PTI.


“While inflation concerns remain, growth is a bigger concern... so, while we understand the issues related to inflation at this point of time, it was our recommendation that there should be a rate cut so that growth comes first,” HDFC Bank's MD Aditya Puri told reporters.


Speaking after the customary pre-policy meeting with RBI brass, he said that bankers have asked for a cut in both repo (rate at which the RBI lends to banks) and CRR—the portion of deposits banks have to mandatorily park with the central bank—in the upcoming policy review.


CRR stands at 4.25%. Repo rate is at 8%.


“The bankers have urged the RBI to reduce interest rates by 50 basis points at least. Even the CRR should come down by 25-50 basis points,” Indian Banks Association (IBA) chief executive K Ramakrishnan said.


One basis point is equal to 0.01%.


The body’s chairman and CMD of Punjab National Bank, KR Kamath said the banks would reduce interest rates if RBI cuts policy rates in the coming policy.


“If the rate of interest is reduced, probably the transmission will happen. Bankers have already been saying that transmission will happen if there is a rate cut,” Kamath said.


He also said reduction in rates would help in increase in investment, which would boost credit growth.


Ramakrishnan said if both these rates are lowered, it will send a positive signal to market.


“If both these things (repo and a CRR cut) happen, transmission will happen and it will be a good sign to the market that growth is going to happen in a big way,” he said.


The likelihood of a rate cut became strong with manufacturing growth remaining in the negative terrain and WPI-based headline inflation hitting a three-year low at 7.18% in December.


Moreover, RBI governor D Subbarao had in the October policy as well as at the subsequent mid-quarter review had hinted at a rate cut in the January policy.


On the poor deposit growth, the IBA chief executive said bankers raised concerns regarding sluggish deposit growth along with low credit uptake. “Sluggish deposit growth is a matter of concern to the bankers. Credit is also not picking up the way it should and hovering around 8% now.”


According to Ramakrishnan, both bankers and the central bank are concerned about rising bad assets in the system.


About the recent suggestion to pay interest on current account, Ramakrishnan said there was a passing mention regarding this with the apex bank at the meeting.


RBI, bankers seek transparent systems for credit flow to MSMEs

As part of an earlier policy decision to look into the concerns surrounding the flow of credit to MSMEs, RBI deputy governor KC Chakrabarty held a meeting with chief executives of banks


Mumbai: To streamline flow of credit to small enterprises and ensure that rightful company gets the credit, bankers and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) discussed introducing a transparent system for micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) loan proposals, reports PTI.


"We discussed to put a proposal tracking system in place, give acknowledgement and SMS facilities to an applicant," Punjab National Bank CMD and industry body Indian Banks Association's Chairman KR Kamath told reporters outside the RBI headquarters.


As part of an earlier policy decision to look into the concerns surrounding the flow of credit to MSMEs, Deputy Governor KC Chakrabarty held a meeting with Chief Executives of banks.


"Various ways, in which the borrowers or applicants will feel that there is a response from the banks and bankers, will be put in place for monitoring the entire flow" were discussed at the meeting, Kamath added.


Corporation Bank Chairman and Managing Director Ajai Kumar said to give a thrust to the credit flow to the key sector, there is a need to have transparent systems in place.


"How to create structures and processes so that there is more transparency and applications are properly tracked, no application is rejected without any reason and there is a proper monitoring system at the level of the bank, were among the issues which were deliberated upon," he said.


HDFC Bank Managing Director Aditya Puri said given the importance of the sector, bankers have agreed to take all necessary steps to strengthen the credit flow.


"We will double the effort to push growth and provide enough support to the MSME sector...they need more credit and help and bankers have agreed," he said.


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