The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has
launched an investigation into the "unusual"
price movement of shares of about half dozen steel companies,
including that of Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL),
over the past few days.
to sources, the regulator has asked stock exchanges to
find out whether any of these companies or its officials
has violated listing agreements and whether there was
concentrated trading in the shares.
board member T M Nagarajan says the regulator is keeping
a close watch on the market movements but cautions against
irrational exuberance. "In the context of sharp and
swift movement on the stock market, SEBI is keeping a
close watch over price-sensitive statements being made
by company officials in the electronic and other media.
Any violation of listing agreements or price manipulation
will be severely dealt with in the larger interest of
market integrity. Small investors should be careful and
not get carried away by hype and exuberance."
sources, however, said the exchanges will examine certain
public statements made by top officials of the steel companies
that hint at positive developments in their respective
companies and industry in general. "They will check
whether these statements were price-sensitive in nature
and whether the information was given to the exchanges."