Regulations
SEBI impounds Rs14.7 crore from 16, including Sharekhan in a front-running scam
SEBI has asked these 15 persons or entities to provide, within seven days of this order, a full inventory of all their assets and properties and details of all their bank accounts, demat accounts and holdings of shares or securities
 
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has ordered impounding of Rs14.70 crore as unlawful gains from 16 entities, including domestic retail brokerage Sharekhan Ltd for front-running activities. Just few days back, BNP Paribas SA announced that it is buying 100% stake in Sharekhan for an undisclosed sum.
 
In a 42-page order, Prashant Saran, Whole Time Member of SEBI, directed to "Impound unlawful gains of Rs13.54 crore (alleged gain of Rs8.42 crore + interest of Rs5.12 crore) jointly and severally from Manish Chaturvedi, Laxmi Chaturvedi, Manohar Chaturvedi, Viraj Mercantile Pvt Ltd, Josh Trading Pvt Ltd, Abhinandan Ranka, Pinky Auto Finance Ltd, E Ally Consulting India Pvt Ltd, Sandeep Maloo, Shree Jaisal Electronics and Industries Ltd, Neeta Maloo and Bhavesh Gadhavi. 
 
“Impound unlawful gains of Rs65.15 lakh (alleged gain of Rs40.3 lakh + interest of Rs24.87 lakh) from Madhu Chanda, Anandilal Chanda and Anandilal Chanda HUF. From Sharekhan, the SEBI directed to impound unlawful gains of Rs50.93 lakh (alleged gain of Rs30.83 lakh + interest of Rs20.10 lakh), " the order says.
 
Front running refers to a market activity wherein the broker buys or sells shares or takes a similar position in the stocks ahead of large orders given by his institutional clients. 
 
According to SEBI, the alleged gains were made between March 2009 and March 2011, and it levied an interest of 12% per annum from the date on which such profits were earned.
 
 
The SEBI order says, "Considering that the front-runners and the entities involved in the case are connected to each other directly or indirectly and collaborated with each other in engaging in the unfair practice of front-running and thereby deriving undue profits through their trades, it is pertinent to make these 12 persons or entities jointly and severally, liable for deriving undue profits from such alleged fraudulent and unfair conduct and trades. As discussed above, Madhu Chanda has used/passed information of the orders placed by clients of Sharekhan. The two dealers (Madhu and Anandilal) of Sharekhan are husband and wife and therefore the unfair gains made by them, by collaborating with each other, in the accounts of Anandilal and Chanda HUF by front-running the clients of Sharekhan also needs to be impounded jointly and severally from Madhu, Anandilal and Chanda HUF. Further, Sharekhan Ltd is also liable for the undue gains made in its Proprietary Account through trades carried out through dealer, Anandilal."
 
In addition, Sharekhan is asked to deposit Rs50.94 lakh in an escrow account within seven days.
 
SEBI has asked these 15 persons or entities to provide, within seven days of this order, a full inventory of all their assets and properties and details of all their bank accounts, demat accounts and holdings of shares or securities, if held in physical form and details of companies in which they hold substantial or controlling interest.
 
According to SEBI release, Sharekhan and other front running entities used orders from the Sterling Group from South India for their operations. Sterling Group consists Abhi Ambi Financial Services Ltd (Abhi Ambi), Sterling Futures & Holidays Ltd (Sterling Futures), Ratha Infrastructure Pvt Ltd (Ratha), Baghmar Finlease Ltd (Baghmar), Shanmuga Home Makers Pvt Ltd, Siva Trade Consultancy Pvt Ltd, Saravana Enterprises (Saravana), Shanmuga Real Estate & Promoters Pvt Ltd, VS Net Ltd and Siva Projects Engineering & Enterprises Ltd.

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Is Indian real estate heading towards a tectonic shift?
Over the past few years, average apartment sizes are falling across all major cities, while consumers are demanding more lifestyle amenities; and entry of branded apartments is changing the real estate market in India, says a JLL India report
 
The past 10 years has been quire dynamic for Indian real estate as each of the fundamental 4Ps of real estate – players, processes, product and places, witnessed plethora of changes. Especially, for homebuyers, the recent changes and future transition will bring about a more transparent market that is not just sensitive to their needs, but also sensitive towards the ecology at large, says JLL India in a report. 
 
JLL said, "The on-going transition within the real estate sector offers us a foretaste of what the near future beholds. We foresee sweeping changes in the way real estate developers conduct their business, particularly looking at the innovative practices and agility of certain new breed of developers. Corporate real estate teams will have to become more adept and skilful in order to make the most of the upcoming transition, and bring to light a rewarding portfolio for their companies."
 
Talking about residential sector, the report says, recent years have seen few transitions – falling apartment sizes, more lifestyle amenities, entry of branded apartments, and introduction of new concepts such as senior living and serviced apartments.
 
"Unable to sell expensive homes in a sluggish market, builders across India are making smaller apartments without lowering the price per square feet and compromising on the quality of product. In the last five years, we have seen that average apartment sizes are falling across all major cities of India," JLL said. 
 
 
According to the report, Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) witnessed the maximum fall in apartment sizes on annualised basis, along with Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. Other cities also witnessed varying degree of fall in median apartment sizes. The dynamics of apartment sizes have a tale to tell – that developers are paying conscious attention to consumers’ requirements.
 
"The fall in average apartment sizes across all top seven cities is a clear indication that developers intend to make houses affordable for buyers by reducing average apartment size instead of reducing the capital values. While property prices are not purely a product of developer’s discretion, the decision to alter apartment sizes as per the needs and spending power of buyers is definitely within their ambit," the report added.
 
Senior living is a new category of residential real estate that is emerging in India, JLL said, adding that at present, there are about 30-35 senior living projects at various stages of construction in the country. Since the concept is new, its contribution relative to the global senior living sector is minimal. As opposed to that, senior living homes accommodate 10% of the senior citizens in the United States and 4% in Australia. There is a huge demand-supply gap within the sector, which suggests the growth potential is immense, it added.
 
As India narrows its gap with real estate trends and practices of more advanced nations in the West and APAC, everyone from local developers, government, institutional investors and occupiers / homebuyers have got things to look up to. The relationship between developers and investors is poised to become more synchronised, enabling transition from family-driven real estate business towards a more institutionalised set-up. This will be a big positive for market transparency, as domestic real estate sectors will criss-cross to new heights. On the other hand, occupiers and consumers will have a variety of options of choose from, given the market segregation and growth of niche segments, which will enable choice on the basis of corporate and individual profile. Domestic and international stakeholders will keenly watch the government’s role as an enabler for smooth sailing through this new course of transition, the report says.
 
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In 7 Years, India's Population To Overtake China's
India will overtake China as the world’s most populous nation by 2022, says a new UN report that revises its previous estimates, which put the date around 2028.
 
In 2015, India had 1.311 billion people, according to the UN’s new estimates, against China’s 1.376 billion, a difference of 65 million.
 
India was earlier estimated to reach 1.35 billion by 2020, against China’s 1.43 billion. Only by 2028 was India estimated to have 1.454 billion, against 1.453 billion in China.
 
If the new projections hold good, India will also be – or continue to be – far more densely populated than China. India’s population density is already more than double that of China’s, which has 141 people per sq km against India’s 382 people per sq km.
 
How the date moved from 2050 to 2022
 
India’s population ascendancy was first estimated to take place in 2050, then gradually lowered to 2040 and then 2030, said Prof Siva Raju, Chair of the Centre for Population, Health and Development at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai.
 
But the UN’s projections have changed, with China’s population growth rate decelerating much faster than India’s, which explains why India will top the world’s list in 2022.
 
The two giants, China and India, now have 19 percent and 18 percent of the world’s population, states the UN report released on July 29.
 
 China’s fertility rates – the average number of children a woman can be expected to bear during her lifetime – have dropped much lower than India’s, which is why its population is growing less than India’s.
 
Overall, India had seen an appreciable decline in its fertility over the years to 2.48 from 5.9 in 1951, though that process was faster in China, which had a fertility rate of 6.11 in 1951. India’s higher fertility contributed to the higher population growth.
 
Lastly, the population growth of China in recent years was mainly due to “population momentum” (the population’s total fertility has fallen below the replacement level since the early 1990s) and this will also contribute to the population growth in India for the coming decades.
 
Over the last decade, from 2001-2011, India’s population grew at only 1.64 percent per year against 1.96 percent in previous decade.
 
Government’s estimates overwhelmed – or are they?
 
In May, Health Minister J.P. Nadda told the Rajya Sabha that India’s population would cross China’s by 2028. He cited the UN’s 2012 Revision.
 
However, he defended the government’s population control measures, which lowered the decadal growth rate from 21.54 percent for 1991-2000 to 17.64 percent during 2001-11.
 
Some experts believe that the UN’s revised estimates are just projections, which may or may not materialise. India’s population will certainly overtake that of China’s, but the exact year could vary.
 
The revised estimates are a revision based on actual growth, which is different from the growth projected earlier, according to Sona Sharma, Joint Director, Advocacy & Communications of the Population Foundation of India, a Delhi-based non-governmental research group.
 
India wasn’t growing faster than imagined; its decadal growth rate had declined, she observed.
 
India’s bulge was also due to its huge population of young people in the reproductive age, which contributed to its population momentum.
 
China’s was a hugely mixed story, Sharma believed. It had developed at the grassroots since the 1970s by investing in education and health, unlike India.
 
Its fertility rates began to decline even before the imposition of the one-child policy. Most in India would find this policy undemocratic in that it deprives a family of taking its own decisions about having more than one child.
 
However, India’s family planning programme – one of the first and biggest in the world, when launched in the 1950s - suffered a setback during the forced sterilisation of women and men during the national emergency between 1975 and 1977, the 40th anniversary of which was observed in June.
 
The real lesson lies in social progress – Kerala shows the way
 
The real lesson of the discrepancy between China and India lay in the former’s better social progress indicators across all fronts, as the UN Development Programme’s Human Development Reports indicate year after year, said Sharma.
 
Kerala and Sri Lanka have proved exceptions in that they reached the replacement level of 2.1 (children born to a woman) even before China. All the southern states, except Karnataka, are on the same path, asIndiaSpend previously reported.
 
As we can see, the population in the southern states is stablising, even falling below replacement levels. It is the northern states, primarily, with their still-high fertility rates–although these have dropped–that continue to boost India’s population.
 
The world’s population projections are important because they have been released at a time when the UN’s Millennium Goals, the deadline for which was this year, are being replaced this year by the much more ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, all of which are measured by the population reached.

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