In an interim order, the market regulator SEBI has taken action against several guest experts who appeared on Zee Business news channel. They have been asked to pay Rs 7.41 crore for “unlawful gain” made by taking opposite market positions than what they advised on air.
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SEBI’s action targets 15 experts who appeared on the channel between February 01, 2022, and December 31, 2022. Some directly engaged in unlawful trades, while others facilitated them. Certain individuals have also been barred from trading until further notice, as per SEBI’s order issued on February 8.
The individuals facing action from SEBI include Simi Bhaumik, Mudit Goyal, Himanshu Gupta, Ashish Kelkar, Kiran Jadhav, Ramawatar Lalchand Chotia, SAAR Securities India Private Limited, Ajaykumar Ramakant Sharma, Rupesh Kumar Matoliya, Nitin Chhalani, Kanhya Trading Company, Manan Sharecom Private Limited, SAAR Commodities Private Limited, Partha Sarathi Dhar, and Nirmal Kumar Soni.
Categorization by SEBI
SEBI categorizes the involved parties into three groups. Guest experts such as Kiran Jadhav, Ashish Kelkar, Himanshu Gupta, Mudit Goyal, and Simi Bhaumik provided trading advice on the channel. Others like Nirmal Kumar Soni, Partha Sarathi Dhar, SAAR Commodities, Manan Sharecom, and Kanhya Trading Company are termed profit makers, while the remainder are enablers.
Kamlesh Varshaney, Whole Time Member of SEBI, notes that the individuals played specific roles violating SEBI regulations. He states that the guest experts shared advance information with profit makers, who then traded accordingly, sharing profits with the experts afterward.
Urgency and Investor Education
SEBI emphasizes the urgency of its decision, underlining the importance of investor education. It distinguishes between experts promoting financial literacy and those exploiting their influence for personal gain. Investors are urged to exercise caution when considering advice from TV or social media.
Manipulation and Investor Harm
SEBI highlights a clear scheme of manipulation aimed at harming investors’ interests. It asserts that profits made unlawfully directly impact innocent investors who follow advice unaware of fraudulent schemes.