WhatsApp leak: SEBI receives reports from HDFC Bank, Tata Motors, Axis Bank, Bata India; to carry out further investigations

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has received four reports in the matter pertaining to leak of price-sensitive information of companies through WhatsApp and is carrying out further investigations, chairman Ajay Tyagi said on Thursday.

In the high profile case, the SEBI has passed preliminary orders against HDFC Bank, Tata Motors, Axis Bank and Bata India.

These companies were also asked to conduct internal probes and report back to the regulator. "We have received four reports," Tyagi said here.

The companies were "asked to do their own internal investigation", he said, adding that the regulator is examining the reports and doing further investigation.

In the matter, Tyagi said it would do "whatever is required to be done". Soon after the preliminary orders were passed by SEBI, the four companies had said that they would comply with the directions from the regulator.

Sebi logo. Pic courtesy: IBNLive

Sebi logo. Pic courtesy: IBNLive

SEBI's preliminary probe found that the firms' quarterly financial results were matching with the figures that were in circulation on WhatsApp groups prior to the official announcement.

Around a dozen listed firms are under the scanner of SEBI.

SEBI began a probe in November 2017 after a media report surfaced with respect to circulation of unpublished price sensitive information in various private WhatsApp groups about certain companies before their official announcements.

The regulator had also conducted search and seizure operations in this regard at various places, including on the premises of various market entities.

Those being probed by SEBI include auditors, brokers, analysts and investment advisors, besides the company executives, with whom the financial information was shared before being made public through regulatory disclosure on stock exchanges.

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Updated Date: Jun 22, 2018 11:18:29 IST

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