The market regulator has accessed its IMSS to get precise data of precisely who traded in the shares in the first few minutes and what caused this bizarre difference in the listing price
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has commenced investigation into the strange price rise in the demerged Emami Infrastructure Ltd shares that were relisted on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) yesterday.
According to top-level sources, SEBI has asked for inputs from the two national exchanges, a part of which has been received. It has also accessed its Inter-Market Surveillance System (IMSS) to get more precise data of precisely who traded in the shares in the first few minutes and what caused this bizarre difference in the listing price. A hefty three crore shares were traded between the two exchanges, yet the scrip closed with a price difference.
Moneylife reported yesterday that Emami Infrastructure, the demerged realty arm of FMCG major Emami Ltd opened as high as Rs598.80 on the NSE, only to come crashing down to Rs86 at the hour mark, translating into an astounding drop of 86%. On the BSE, Emami Infra opened at Rs250, hitting a high of Rs293 (a good Rs306 below the NSE high) and then slipping to a low of Rs86. SEBI is investigating the reason for this difference.
Senior SEBI officials tell us that the humungous difference in prices on the two national bourses sustained for only 17 seconds before converging significantly.
According to SEBI sources, only 2,646 shares were traded at the price between Rs598 to Rs280. It started with one share at Rs598 and the 37th trade was one share at Rs250. The decline in the Emami Infra price from Rs598 to Rs250 happened in 17 seconds. SEBI is examining the reasons for this difference and the nature of the initial order - whether it was a limit order or a market order; how it got executed and whether there was an attempt to cancel the order or not. SEBI expects to get complete data by the evening.
However, the issue is not of the first 17 seconds. The price difference in the two exchanges remained significant for an hour. This is a very long time period in a heavily-traded market. Even by the end of the day it was a good 3%.
Given this situation, SEBI is looking at systemic solutions to prevent a repeat of the irrational trading that occurred yesterday. Sources point out that SEBI has already started working on a call auction (pre-market session) for regular trading.
Top officials now want to examine if the call auction needs to be introduced for re-listed securities as well. After all, this is not the first time that a re-listed security has created a flutter in the bourses through irrational opening prices.
But even before a call auction system is introduced, SEBI plans to examine the feasibility of a faster solution by putting demerged shares, at the time of re-listing, into the trade-for-trade segment for the first couple of days so that no price manipulation will be possible at the time of price discovery.
At 12.50pm today, the Emami Infrastructure share, which closed at Rs101.70 on the BSE yesterday and Rs104.80 on the NSE, was trading 2.25% down at Rs99.5 on the BSE.
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