Tyagi says Sebi to probe data leaks via social media

Tyagi says Sebi to probe data leaks via social media

The markets regulator is "seriously" looking into the complaints about some individuals allegedly circulating key financial details and other market moving information about listed companies on social media groups before they are made officially public.

Securities and Exchange Board chairman Ajay Tyagi on Tuesday confirmed that the regulator has come to know of instances wherein price-sensitive financial data of reputed companies was leaked to right before the earnings were formally made public.

"We are taking that (WhatsApp leaks) very seriously. How come such messages about reputed listed companies are leaked quite close to the financial results is something we are not going to sit quietly on," Tyagi told reporters on the sidelines of an investment banking summit here.

Besides, Sebi is also considering seeking call data records (CDRs) of all the persons involved in the circulating such key financial details and other price-sensitive information about publicly traded companies on social media groups before they are made public.

The regulator has powers to seek call data records, excluding the exact content of the communication, from telecom service providers.

Sebi will also seek clarification from brokerages and listed firms if such individuals were found to be associated with them.

IPO  process to be simplified

Sebi  is also planning to make the initial public offering (IPO) process easier and faster by simplifying the entire procedures with a focus on reducing the listing time to four days from six now.

It  has already reduced the listing time from seven days in the past to six days after the close of the bidding. This still blocks the fund of an investor if she/he could not get the entire subscription locked in for those many days time.

Earlier, the regulator had ended the practice of allowing the issuer to block the entire subscription amount in demat accounts by allowing the money to be blocked in the investor's account through the Absa facility. This helped not blocking the investor's money in a third party account till the IPO process was over.

"We are further simplifying procedures and focussing on reducing the listing time for IPOs so that primary markets become more efficient. The focus is further cut down on the time taken for listing a company on an exchange after the IPO to four days from the six days now," Tyagi said.

Won't discusss Uday Kotak report

The  Sebi  board will not take up the Uday Kotak report on corporate governance for discussion in its meeting later this month, Tyagi said.

The Kotak committee, which was constituted by  Sebi, had suggested a major overhaul of corporate governance norms for listed companies in its report submitted on October 5.

The Securities and Exchange Board (Sebi) has sought public comments till November 4 on the 177 pages report.


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