SEBI proposes to fix circuit filters on F&O scrips
Mumbai, Capital markets regulator Sebi on Monday proposed to fix circuit filters or price bands on futures & options (F&O) scrips to curb excessive volatility.
 
In a discussion paper on "Applicability of Individual Scrip wise Price Bands or Circuit Filters" on F&O scrips, Sebi said: "Concerns have been raised that investors' wealth is getting wiped out in a single day by recent falls in stocks on which derivative products are available, as no price bands or circuit filters are applicable on them."
 
"In view of recent abnormal intra-day price movements, suggestions are being made to review the rules to prevent such extraordinary price movements."
 
Derivatives markets reflect expectation of spot prices in the future, and as such price bands or circuit filters are generally not applied on them.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

V ganesan

2 months ago

Ban futures and options in individual scrips.Allow only index options. Instead of discouraging f and o NSE introduced weekly f and o.It is a real casino.

The Zee/ Essel Deal: Mutual Funds on a Hope and a Prayer
On the eve of Republic Day, while the nation was getting ready for a display of patriotic fervour, there was a public apology to investors from Subhash Chandra, founder and chairman of the Essel group that includes the Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL). Mr Chandra is an independent member of Parliament (MP) backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who has been its vociferous supporter and campaigner in the previous general elections.
 
The apology blamed unnamed ‘negative forces’ for the events leading to the stock collapse while admitting to follies such as wrong investments in Videocon’s DTH venture, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS), etc. 
 
Essel/Zee group’s stocks were hammered down 30% burning up over Rs13,350 crore of shareholder value on 25th January, after The Wire, reported that the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) was looking into a Rs3,000-crore deposit into Nityank Infrapower (earlier called Dreamline Manpower), a company allegedly part of the Zee group, during demonetisation. Stocks crashed, despite the Essel group denying any wrongdoing.
 
The apology letter, which came the next day, brought back memories of 7 January 2009 when Ramalinga Raju’s confession letter roiled the markets. 
 
Had the hammering continued on Monday, 28th January (since lenders who advanced money against shares would have been forced to liquidate or get additional collateral), the value, especially of flagship, ZEEL would have been further decimated and even dropped to Rs200 or less. Its 52-week low was Rs288.95 recorded on 25 January 2019.
 
Such an erosion of value could have had a domino effect at a time when reports about mutual fund (MF) lending to promoters and promoter group companies had already made markets extremely jittery. 
 
A booming stock market, despite high oil prices and disastrous economic experiments such as demonetisation and a badly executed Goods and Services Tax (GST), has been a matter of pride for the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) regime. To have it unravel due to friendly companies like the Zee group and DHFL (Dewan Housing Finance Companies), just months before the genral elections would have killed its narrative on good governance and corruption. 
 
So, in the next few hours, some very powerful people were burning up the phone lines to find a highly unorthodox solution to the Zee/Essel group’s problem, while the two important regulators – SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) and the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) maintained a sphinx-like silence. 
 
MFs and finance companies that have lent money to Zee are really living on a hope and a prayer, despite the multipartite agreement they are working on to bail themselves out. There is nothing but a draft deal so far and teams of lawyers are still negotiating the contours of the agreement. A deal will, eventually, happen because everybody desperately needs to kick the problem forward by a few months. 
 
But here are several issues that investors should keep in mind—especially those of you who have been brainwashed to believe that ‘Mutual Fund Sahi Hai’ without being told of all the risks and minefields involved in seeking a higher return. 
 
The Problem
Let me start by saying that a move, however unorthodox, that protects innocent investors’ share value and prevents widespread panic and redemption is good and must be supported. However, the problem that led to the need for such action must be addressed and wrongdoing punished. Otherwise, it will become a dangerous template for the future. 
 
Remember Zee/Essel group is not the only one to spring nasty negative surprises in recent times. There is DHFL, Sun Pharma (whistleblowers’ allegations) and Vedanta, where promoters’ shenanigans have wiped out significant shareholder value in an instant. 
 
What needs to be watched in the Zee/Essel case is whether institutions follow through and ensure a strategic sale quickly instead of waiting for the long rope they have given shareholders. 
 
 
The Deal
Essentially, a set of four MFs and three non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), calling themselves a ‘Committee of Lenders’ (CoL, a term that is falsely borrowed from the legally watertight bankruptcy process), have come together to exert pressure on the Zee group to protect their lending. Together, they own Rs15,000 crore worth of Zee’s stocks belonging to the promoters as a pledge, says sources involved in the process. 
 
No formal agreement has been signed as yet, because lawyers are still working through the complexities of the deal. None of the lenders will waive its rights in the event of default (EoD), as per their original agreement in the pledge of shares. This is because each lender has a different class of collateral/ security—while some are still comfortably placed and could walk out with a neat profit, others are probably not. 
 
However, all lenders in the consortium have agreed that the decisions of the CoL will be formally binding on all. The CoL will monitor that the group adheres to definitive timelines for finding a strategic buyer and to ensure that there is no further ‘leakage of value’ due to any actions or misadventures of the promoter group, like alienating valuable assets. 
 
Further, if Zee/Essel tries to renege on its commitment, the lenders will have the right to call for an enforcement event, whereby they can jointly sell their stake of nearly 25% to any investor. 
 
While all this sounds good on paper, we know that it is essentially a private contract with no legal sanction. If the Zee group does not cooperate in finding a strategic investor, the lenders are vulnerable. No strategic investor will acquire a 25% shareholding, if the management is likely to be hostile to the action. It can only happen if the buyer is willing to contemplate a hostile bid (including the mandatory an open offer for another 20% stake).  
 
Indian institutions have never shown the gumption for such a move, especially with a politically powerful group like Zee/Essel. And it is anybody’s guess what would happen to the share value if the matter gets dragged into a long and expensive litigation which is also a possibility. Whatever course it takes, the problem has certainly been kicked into the term of another government at the Centre. 
 
The Regulator’s Role
The role of SEBI is rather strange in all this. It started out on the right track and is understood to have read the riot act to MF lenders. However, the need to protect innocent shareholders’ value, obviously, weighed with it. What does SEBI plan to do when the dust has settled? Perhaps it will levy another penalty on the AMCs (asset management companies) of the four MFs who lent large chunks of money to the promoter.  
 
Then, there is Zee/Essel’s own history. Mr Chandra has a propensity to get deeply involved in dubious market deals. He was closely associated with Ketan Parekh, architect of the 2000-01 scam, and was deeply involved in assisting his bailout through shady transactions. All these have been extensively investigated by SEBI and documented by the Joint Parliamentary Committee. 
 
Yet, after a meandering process, SEBI had scandalously let off the group with a mere warning, when it had almost agreed to a ‘consent order’ that required it to pay up Rs5 crore as penalty. SEBI allowed TC Nair, its whole-time member, who signed the order, to complete his term without any questions.  
 
While ordinary investors may invest without research, one expects MFs to be aware of history and be careful about their decisions, or face the consequences. It remains to be seen if there are any consequences, this time.
 
SEBI is likely to clamp down on MFs’ lending to promoters, and that will be a good policy decision; but it will not obviate the necessity to send the right message through stringent punitive action. Otherwise, we will be lurching from one such episode to another. 
 
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COMMENTS

Feel de X

2 months ago

As long as BJP is in power it's face will be saved I guess

PPM

2 months ago

Why not disclose the names of the MF & NBFCs included in the CoL, so that investors will know who do what with their money. Is there any gag order in place which do not allow you to disclose?

bg bgg

2 months ago

Edelweiss moneywise
👌👌👌👌👌

pennymoney769

2 months ago

So does it mean that no lender will call default even if the co. doesn\'t pay on maturity date untill the zee stake is sold off?

Mahesh S Bhatt

2 months ago

Watch Big entertainment bought over by Zee overnight & now see Jio may buy Zee Enjoy Commonman's money stripped & made mad & naked by so called FINMAD's without minimal commitment UK MF's agree to repay 2-7% on contract Indian MF's kya hai unko bhi nahi maloom like Thanda Matlab Cocacola Lele ne Leli hamAri SEBI Show watchdog without spine teeth morals & money RBI now GoI may be Mahesh Bhat

Purushottam Hojagallu thimmappa

2 months ago

Great article..Mutual fund and NBFC ‘s ..are you aware of who is biggest lenders from the group..

nagaraju lanka

2 months ago

What about the Sterlite technologies pledging promoters shares
Whether the investors shall continue to suffer for the erosion of funds
Please throw some light on the issue

P S SHANKAR

2 months ago

Great, honest article by Moneylife. I am amazed that MFs can lend money to private parties, like banks, that too based on share pledges. This has been proved time again, but still some people are foolish enough to repeat it - when a businessman becomes a politician, it is neither good for politics nor his business.

AAR

2 months ago

Whatever happened to Jignesh Shah Financial Technologies Spot Market scam? It was at the start if the BJP rule and I remember 5000Rs crores was involved.
Any followup?

Ramesh Poapt

2 months ago

mf campaign 'all mf schemes donot invest in equity' .but what if non equity
is equally risky? excess of anything is bad. here it is AUM of total MF.
it increased at rocket's speed. governance/diligence went at bottom!
regulators sleeping, as usual! next 1-2 quarters will make things worse.
who will save investors/savers?! hope is-ML!

shivkumar

2 months ago

As Karl Marx said History repeats itself, first as a tragedy and second as a farce. But here the situation is worse then that. Actors may change but characters remain the same; victims are invariably the hapless small shareholders. Those charged with the duty to protect investors from the shenanigans of the promoters, choose to keep their eyes and ears shut, particularly in the case of strong ones,. While a small a fry is made to pay fine even for a technical default, bigwigs get a mere rap on the knuckles. It is high time that all the regulators wake up and smell coffee.

SEBI Declines To 'Bless' Zee Moratorium Being Contemplated by Mutual Funds
A chastened collective of five leading mutual fund (MF) CEOs (chief executive officers) and ratings agency chiefs emerged from a meeting with SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) member Madhabi Puri Buch on Monday morning, following a story broken by IANS on Sunday, after a shellacking over lapses in their judgement in taking huge debt exposure to the Zee group promoters against inadequate and illiquid collateral.
 
The Indian MF industry has lent a staggering Rs7,000 crore to Zee group's promoters and after the recent debacle in the stock price, the value of the security is less than even the principal amount due to them, leave aside any margin.
 
Sources in SEBI revealed that the regulator was categorical in its assessment over what had transpired and had firmly communicated it to the delegation.
 
Firstly, MF industry players could not enter into any moratorium dialogue or agreement with an errant corporate group under existing MF rules and regulations. This tantamounted to restructuring which banks could do, but not MFs. The regulator clearly told the industry representatives that what they were contemplating was akin to shadow banking, something clearly beyond their permitted activities. 
 
Secondly, the MF industry was told it should have done a well-rounded risk assessment of its massive exposure to a corporate group where the debt levels were worrisome, before taking on such concentrated exposure. The regulator said if the only justification for not liquidating the shares now was the expected loss to investors, the industry should not have made such investments; otherwise, what was the purpose of taking any security?
 
Thirdly, the MFs should have given adequate warning to investors who had subscribed to the MF schemes that they were taking on the risk of illiquid security for debt investments which might not be encashable on default and might lead to losses for investors.
 
On an impassioned request by the five CEOs that SEBI should 'bless' the contemplated moratorium as a one-off case, the regulator categorically and firmly rejected this plea, stating that there was no provision in existing rules and regulations for any such moratorium, leave alone for a condonation of the same. 
 
The regulator's tone and tenor was clear as daylight that the MF industry heavy hitters had gravely erred in their judgement, and now it was for them and their respective boards of directors/trustees to decide how to proceed in the matter.
 
The regulator also refused to countenance the MF industry stand that the moratorium was in the best interests of investors, stating this was something time alone would tell, and SEBI was holding out no assurance that in subsequent inspections/audits this was something which would be overlooked.
 
Separately, in a statement, Essel group has denied receiving any communication from the market regulator or any mutual fund company about its moratorium. "This is with reference to some media reports and independent comments or opinions shared on social media platforms. Vide this press note, Essel Group wishes to state that we have not sought any permission from SEBI, as there is no regulatory requirement, and hence we have not received any communication from SEBI or from any mutual fund company, pertaining to a decision taken with regards to the moratorium," Essel group said in the statement.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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COMMENTS

VIVEK SHAH

2 months ago

All this boils down to the shady deals that the rating agencies strike with the promoters. The fund managers too should be punished for overlooking such grave risks.

Aqeel Qureshi

2 months ago

This is surprising 🤔
It is only yesterday that I read one advertisement billboard of the mutual fund association that 'Mutual Fund investment mein patience rakhna padta hai' and that
Mutual Funds are 'sahi hai'
How is it that the regulator itself is losing patience?
Seems the regulator isn't informed enough as the mutual fund association and their reasonings.
Someone there should send a copy of the research that led to their 'patience' ads to the regulator.

Amazing circus going on in our country!

Kanu Warriar

2 months ago

Kindly check your disclaimer, a "not" missing, looks like:
”As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article."

REPLY

MDT

In Reply to Kanu Warriar 2 months ago

Thanks for your comment. This news is sourced from IANS and thus the agency is responsible for the content in this news article. Kindly read the entire disclaimer in full.

Harish Kohli

2 months ago

Well done SEBI. Finally you are biting, though it will take some for the rust to go away. Some mutual funds will learn their lesson, some would say "woh apne aap ko samjhte kya hain".

BV SUDHANVA

2 months ago

professionals who can manage other peoples money only.

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