SEBI’s efforts to curtail front running: Increasing onus on Asset Management Companies

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) in its 205th board meeting[1] held on April 30, 2024, has approved amendments to the SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996 (“MF Regulations”), to enhance the existing regulatory framework for Asset Management Companies (“AMCs”) for facilitating identification and deterrence of potential market abuse, including front running[2]. As part of the said decision, detailed in its press release dated April 30, 2024, AMCs would be required to put in place an appropriate institutional mechanism, consisting of enhanced surveillance systems, internal control procedures and escalation processes to identify, monitor and address various types of misconduct. Additionally, SEBI’s Board has approved amendments in the relevant regulations to enhance responsibility and accountability of the management of AMCs for the said institutional mechanism and also for AMCs to put in place a whistle-blower mechanism.Continue Reading SEBI’s efforts to curtail front running: Increasing onus on Asset Management Companies

Relevant or Relied Upon? Bombay High Court Clears Air on Disclosure of Information by Banks in Wilful Defaulter Proceedings

In Mr. Milind Patel v. Union Bank of India & Ors.[1] (“Judgment”), the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court (“Court”) has inter alia held that lenders/ banks seeking to invoke the Reserve Bank of India, Master Circular on Wilful Defaulters (“Master Circular”) for declaring entities and/ or persons as wilful defaulters, must supply all relevant materials to the noticee, which includes not only incriminating material but also exculpatory material. The Court therefore clarified that a bank is obligated to provide all relevant materials and not just information ‘referred to’ and ‘relied upon’ in the show-cause notice when conducting proceedings under the Master Circular.Continue Reading Relevant or Relied Upon? Bombay High Court Clears Air on Disclosure of Information by Banks in Wilful Defaulter Proceedings

SAT’s Verdict in FCRPL & others V. SEBI: Setting the dust on interpretation of generally available information in Insider Trading Cases

Introduction:

For any information to be classified as unpublished price sensitive information (“UPSI”), it should primarily satisfy the following three criteria, (1) It should relate to the company or its securities, directly or indirectly, (2) It should not be generally available, and (3) There should be a likelihood of the information materially affecting the price of the securities. Generally available information is information available in the public domain (on a non-discriminatory basis). Basis this, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) analyses and identifies whether information can be termed as UPSI and classifies whether trades conducted by Insiders[1] are in violation of the SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 2015 (“2015 PIT Regulations”).Continue Reading SAT’s Verdict in FCRPL & others V. SEBI: Settling the dust on interpretation of Generally Available Information in Insider Trading Cases

Background

  • SEBI recently notified the SEBI (Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism) (Amendment) Regulations, 2023, and issued a Master Circular for Online Resolution of Disputes in the Indian Securities Market (‘ODR Master Circular’), extending the conciliation and arbitration mechanism administered by Market Infrastructure Intermediaries (‘MII’) to all specified intermediaries/ regulated entities. Prior to this, MII’s dispute resolution mechanism only covered stock-brokers, depository participants, listed companies and registrars and transfer agents. Investors embroiled in disputes with any other intermediary did not have recourse to this mechanism, but the ODR Master Circular extends it to other intermediaries to streamline the dispute resolution process. Further, the erstwhile system was largely physical, with some online adaptations brought about during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a progressive measure and in line with the recommendations of the committee constituted by the Niti Aayog under Justice Sikri, the dispute resolution process will now be online.

Continue Reading Resolving Securities Disputes in the Digital Age: A Primer on SEBI’s Master Circular for Online Resolution of Disputes in the Indian Securities Market