PNB Wilful Defaulters List

One of the leading PSU banks in India Punjab National Bank has said that 904 wilful defaulters owe it Rs.10869/- Crs.

The bank has declared the names in public, to download the entire list Click Here

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SEBI Research Analysts Regulations

#SEBI has announced that the new Research Analysts Regulations will come into force from today (1/12/2014) onwards.

Hence, all analysts will have to refrain from giving Stock Specific advice on platforms which can be accessed by public, like Websites, TV, Radio, Print, SMS, Whatsapp, Facebook, etc,. Analysts cannot talk stock specific until they are Exempt or until they Register under the new regulations. Registration will cost Individuals Rs.15000/- totally and companies like VRIDHI Rs.5.5 Lacs totally!

We however can continue talking on Market Outlook and Sector Outlook.

News Link: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/markets/from-dec-1-only-registered-analysts-can-give-recommendations-sebi/article6643934.ece

News Link: http://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/some-research-analysts-might-stay-away-from-media-114120100040_1.html

Download the Regulations file: http://www.sebi.gov.in/cms/sebi_data/commondocs/RESEARCHANALYSTS-regulations_p.pdf

Mr.Vivek Karwa will be doing his first show on 2/12/2014 at 9.30am Live on Sun News, as per the New Regulations! Do Watch.

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Many Brokers, Sub-Brokers shutting shop

Tech, compliance costs push brokers to exit door

According to Sebi, 203 brokers and 4,540 sub-brokers have closed shop since January’2014

source: http://www.livemint.com/Money/h9ZbKgM0KatcsUXj32z5VJ/Tech-compliance-costs-push-brokers-to-exit-door.html

India’s stock markets continue to witness the exodus of brokers and sub-brokers despite rising turnover and higher stock prices, as cutting-edge technologies and costlier compliance drive many smaller firms out of business.

According to the latest monthly bulletin from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), 203 brokers and 4,540 sub-brokers have closed shop since January while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gained 20% during the period. There has been a marginal fall in the number of registered brokers in the equity derivatives segment as well.

To be sure, the number of registered brokers and sub-brokers fell last year too, when the Sensex gained nearly 9%. According to Sebi data, the number of brokers and sub-brokers fell by 714 and 16,549 respectively in 2013. Market intermediaries point to higher compliance costs and new technologies driving out brokers. The smaller firms have also lost business to organized brokerages with a wide reach and large client base, offering full product suites.

“Compliance and surveillance has become tighter with time and hence investments towards the same have also increased,” said Vishal Gulechha, head of equity product group at ICICI Securities Ltd, one of the largest domestic brokerages with three million customers.

Norms put in place by the capital market regulator mandate an internal code of conduct for all intermediaries. For instance, none of the employees including temporary staff and voluntary workers is supposed to circulate unverified information related to companies and stock prices. The compliance officer of the intermediary has been made responsible for all such acts as part of Sebi’s efforts to tighten compliance requirements for brokerages to safeguard investors.

Technology is playing an increasingly important part as well. “Brokerages have to spend a huge amount on technology,” said Vinay Agrawal, executive director (equity broking) at Angel Broking Pvt. Ltd. “There is a lot of competitive pressure and small players find it difficult to afford the kind of technology required to meet the investor and business needs.

”Brokerages have been investing in technology ever since software-based trading such as algorithmic or algo trading became popular. Algo trading refers to using software codes to automate and enhance order-matching processes. According to BSE Ltd, the share of algo trading has increased from 8% in July 2012 to 28.77% in July 2014.

“Exchanges keep enhancing their technology and the brokerages have to keep pace. We have a whole bunch of pre-defined strategy-based software and many medium- and large-sized brokerages are interested in it,” said Hitesh Hakani, director of Greeksoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a firm specializing in developing strategy-based software, explaining the increased tech costs faced by brokerages.

Brokers who haven’t embraced new technologies are under intense pressure from falling cash volumes and rising costs, said Gulechha. According to him, ICICI Securities, which once had just one trading platform, now has platforms for iOS, Android, Windows and Microsoft Silverlight devices as well as for slower Internet connections.

The average daily turnover in the cash segment of BSE has increased from Rs.2,160 crore in January 2014 to Rs.2,663 crore in August. The National Stock Exchange of India Ltd has seen turnover rise from Rs.11,114 crore to Rs.14,808 crore in the same period.

Some market participants, however, feel that most entities exiting the business are small-time entrepreneurs who were into proprietary trading.

“There were a lot of small players who mostly did proprietary trading or serviced a very small set of rich individuals. With many such investors opting for organized large brokerages, the business obviously took a hit. Their closure did not impact the market or the investor base as such,” said the director of a domestic brokerage firm on conditions of anonymity.

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45000 Crs Ponzi Scheme Unearthed

CBI unearths mammoth Rs 45,000-crore ponzi scheme, real-estate companies PACL, PGF involved in Delhi scam

Financial Express, 28/2/14

After preliminary analysis of documents the agency came to know of the enormity of the scam.

source: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/cbi-unearths-mammoth-rs-45000crore-ponzi-scheme-realestate-companies-pacl-pgf-involved-in-delhi-scam/1230003/0

CBI today claimed the documents recovered by it during searches at the premises of Delhi-based business groups PACL and PGF show they allegedly used ponzi scheme to cheat nearly five crore investors of Rs 45,000 rpt Rs 45,000 crore.

In its case against PACL and PGF, CBI has named PGF Director Nirmal Singh Bhangoo and PACL Director Sukhdev Singh besides six other directors of the companies.

The groups had allegedly raised investments from over five crore gullible investors through collective investment scheme under the garb of sale and development of agricultural land, CBI spokesperson said here today.

She said that after preliminary analysis of documents the agency came to know of the enormity of the scam.

In Ponzi schemes, returns are given to investors from the money collected from other depositors in a pyramid-like structure.

"Initial investigation by CBI has revealed an alleged scam to the tune of Rs 45,000 crores in a case relating to an alleged fraud by Delhi-based private company and others through raising investments…through collective investment scheme under the garb of sale and development of agricultural land," CBI said.

PACL and PGF did not respond to emails sent seeking their comments.

The sources said CBI at first did not realise the gravity of the scam and it was only when some laptops were opened they came to know that their earlier estimates about the size of the scam were just a tip of the iceberg.

CBI sources said the agency had carried out an inquiry, on the orders of the Supreme Court, into allegations that the companies had collected crores of rupees through deposits from public at large through their ponzi scheme promising land.

CBI sources said that during the searches it has recovered documents which show benami properties worth crore in India and abroad. The investments made by the company in a hotel in Gold Coast, Australia, have also come under the scanner of CBI.

The spokesperson said CBI has found prima-facie evidence which shows that PGF, having an office in Pashchim Vihar in West Delhi, has raised investments by issuing bogus land allotment letters to induce the investors.

"It was revealed that PGF, on being directed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana to wind up the scheme and refund the money to the investors, a similar fraudulent scheme was operated under the name of PACL with office at Barakhamba Road," CBI alleged.

It is alleged that funds collected from new investors of PACL were used to repay the earlier investors of PGF to stave off criminal prosecution.

The agency has carried out searches at the offices of PGF and PACL at their offices in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Mohali, Ropar and Jaipur.

CBI sources said the accused persons have been called to appear for questioning even as a preliminary round of interrogation has been done by the sleuths.

"Funds have been raised by the two companies through a vast network of lakhs of commission agents spread all over the country who were being paid hefty commissions for luring the investors," the spokesperson said.

The searches were conducted at the premises of Directors Harcharan Singh, Chandra Bhushan Dhillon, Prem Chand, Gurmeet Singh, Subrato Bhattacharya among others.

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BJP favours Abolition of Various Taxes

BJP favours abolition of Income, Sales, Excise Tax

NDTV Profit, 12/12/13

source: http://profit.ndtv.com/news/economy/article-bjp-favours-abolition-of-income-sales-excise-tax-374631

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) favours abolition of income, sales and excise tax and the party may include it in its vision document to be unveiled ahead of general elections next year.

Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who is in charge of preparing the party’s vision document, ‘India Vision 2025’, said that the party is deliberating the matter.

"We were talking about tax and although we have not decided as yet…there is a suggestion of complete abolition of income, sales and excise tax," he said at a function on political agenda of political parties.

Mr Gadkari said that the total revenue of the country is Rs. 14 lakh crore and 1.5 lakh bank branches are operating in the country presently.

"If we abolish these taxes and if we apply around 1 or 1.5 per cent of expenditure or transaction tax, then we will get revenue to the tune of around Rs. 40,000 lakh crore. So those 3.5 lakh people who are using beacons of various colours now, they will not be required anymore as no tribunals or commissioners will be required," he said.

"So I think along with transparency, there should be time-bound result-oriented administration coupled with right way of economic reforms and if it so happens, then the 1.5 lakh banks operating now will become 10 lakhs. There is another suggestion of doing away with Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes…we are deliberating on these proposals as we want transparency…" Gadkari said.

Echoing Mr Gadkari’s thoughts, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that there was no shortage of resources in the country and "if one had auctioned the natural resources properly, one did not have to have income tax at all".

Giving details, he said if the government had auctioned 2G spectrum, it would have got at least Rs. 1.76 lakh crore as extra which went to private hands.

He maintained if the government had auctioned the coal blocks, it would have got Rs. 11 lakh crore and by auctioning the oil sites, Rs. 24 lakh crore could have been realised.

"Illegal money lying in foreign banks mostly stashed by politicians isRs. 120 lakh crore. And what is the total income tax bill…just Rs. 2.5 lakh crore. Why should we pay income tax? I urge Nitin Gadkari that we should abolish income tax," Mr Swamy said.

"Do you think if you abolish income tax, the middle class will squander their money? No they will put it in banks and will be available for investment. It is the same with corporate income tax… You can abolish it."

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HSBC suspends MF, insurance sales in India

HSBC suspends MF, insurance sales in India amid allegations of mis-selling and certain sharp practices

Economic Times, 3/11/2012

source: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-11-03/news/34892148_1_fund-distributors-mutual-fund-fund-house

HSBC, the word’s third-largest bank, has stopped selling insurance and mutual fund products in India. Amid mounting allegations of mis-selling and certain sharp practices, the London headquarters of the British bank, which carried out a "culture audit" of the Indian retail banking and wealth management practices, has ordered a suspension of sales.

HSBC Bank is the largest distributor of mutual funds in the country. The foreign bank, which has been doing business in India for close to 150 years, reported a 30% spurt in commissions on mutual fund sales last fiscal – one of the toughest years for fund houses, life insurers and financial services brokerages.

The parent organisation has given HSBC India two months to fix the system in order to ensure that customer complaints came down, said a source. Besides mis-selling of insurance policies, these complaints related to frequent churning of mutual fund portfolios of many well-heeled investors.

Emails from ET to HSBC went unanswered till the time of going to press.

Fund distributors often earn higher commissions by advising investors to shift from one mutual fund scheme to another. Indeed, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, in an earlier note had pointed out rampant portfolio churning by many banks.

"Churning and mis-selling of insurance happen in other banks and brokerages as well, though the extent may differ. HSBC is possibly trying to correct its system to see that the nature of products meets customers’ appetite," said a chartered accountant associated with a fund house.

In many markets, large financial services groups insist that all telephonic conversations between customers and personal bankers or wealth managers should take place on recorded lines. But this may be difficult in markets like India where bank or distributor officials use their mobiles to call clients after office hours.

‘HSBC Bank a Tough Negotiator’

According to a senior fund manager, HSBC officials recently told CEOs of top fund houses that it would go slow on sales, and in some cases stop selling till further notice. Fund house sources said HSBC Bank had been a tough negotiator when it came to taking fund distribution mandates.

Several fund executives told ET that the bank often demanded higher up-front fee to drive ‘exclusive sales’ of equity schemes of a particular fund house. Such commissions were in addition to the upfront and annual trail fees that mutual funds pay distributors for selling their schemes. HSBC Bank’s fund portfolio largely comprises lumpsum subscriptions from affluent investors. The bank, said distributors, pools a few thousand crores of investments every year.

This is the second time in five years that the Indian retail banking operations of the bank faced an internal scrutiny. In 2007-08, a team from HSBC’s regional headquarters had inspected the books following suspicions that the bank was dressing up retail assets and credit card portfolios by spending more on sales agents who in turn routed a slice of the money for interest payments on loans.

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Investor associations cry foul

Investor associations cry foul as Ministry closes Helpline

Business Line, 12/9/2011

source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/markets/article2444642.ece

Closing of Investor Helpline by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has not gone down well with investor associations.

While the Ministry says it closed the helpline in June to avoid duplication of work, it is being alleged that there is a money grab by industry associations.

The Ministry is better equipped to handle investor grievances than anyone else, said an MCA official.

“The number of complaints being registered on our website was increasing and those on the helpline were decreasing for more than a year now,” an MCA official told Business Line. According to IH, it received 14,300 grievances in 4.5 years and resolved or closed 98 per cent of them. The Ministry, however, was not able to share the number of grievances it received or closed despite repeated requests.

Questions are being raised by some investor associations on operations of Investor Education and Protection Fund (IE&PF) and the committee that administers it.

A committee of 12 with a two-year term is formed to administer the IE&PF. MCA Secretary is the Chairman and the committee must have representations from RBI, SEBI and other organisations actively involved in investor activities. IE&PF has 174 NGOs registered with it as on March 31, according to the website. Some of its past members are Ms Sucheta Dalal of Moneylife, Mr P.N. Vijay, Tamil Nadu Investors’ Association and Mr Manu bhai Shah of CERC.

In February 2009, representatives of industry chambers such as FICCI, CII, ASSOCHAM and NSE entered the committee with not even a token presence of an NGO, non profit organisation or investor activist. In May 2010, an extension for two more years was issued to the committee that also had representatives from professional institutes CA, ICSI and ICWA.

“What is the NSE Managing Director doing on the IEPF? He has a few hundred crores under an investor protection fund of the NSE, why doesn’t he concentrate on spending that? Especially when the number of retail investors in India has shrunk from 20 million to 8 million in the past 20 years,” said Ms Sucheta Dalal.

The committee has suo moto powers to call upon any company to pay due to the fund. This constitutes an inherent contradiction in the nature of IEPF and its responsibilities, said Mr Virendra Jain, President, Midas Touch Investors Association that set up IH.

“These institutes and the industry chambers have direct pecuniary and professional relations with the companies against whom the IEPF is supposed to protect the investor’s interest,” he said.

In 2010-11 more than 3,500 seminars were held from the fund. The primary objectives of the Fund according to the Act are “promotion of investors’ awareness” and “protection of the interests of investors.”

IE&PF was established under the Companies Act, 1956, to promote investor awareness by utilising the funds that are unclaimed for seven years such as dividends, deposits, debentures, etc of investors.

The unclaimed amount is transferred to a central corpus, which is Rs.500 crore as on date, with an annual budget of Rs 5 crore. The online grievance redress portal, investor helpline, was receiving Rs 50 lakh an year.