Merrill Lynch Markets Singapore pays Rs 25.35 lakh to Sebi to settle case

Merrill Lynch Markets Singapore pays Rs 25.35 lakh to Sebi to settle case
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New Delhi: Merrill Lynch Markets Singapore Pte Ltd has settled a case pertaining to incorrect reporting of offshore derivative Instruments (ODI) in monthly reports filed with capital markets regulator Sebi.

Merrill Lynch Markets Singapore paid Rs 25.35 lakh towards settlement charges, according to a settlement order passed on Monday by Sebi.

It had filed a suo moto settlement application with the regulator to settle the probable enforcement proceedings "without admitting or denying the findings of fact and conclusions of law."

As per the order, the applicant, which is an ODI issuing Foreign Portfolio Investor registered with Sebi, informed the regulator about certain irregularities in the data provided by them to Sebi in the ODI monthly reports during the months of November 2018, April 2019, July 2019 and January 2020, which resulted in reporting discrepancies wherein certain transactions in the equities segment were not reported.

The discrepancies were addressed by the applicant and intimated to Sebi in April 2020.

Merrill Lynch Markets Singapore then filed a settlement application with the markets regulator.

Thereafter, a high-powered advisory committee (HPAC) of Sebi considered the settlement term proposed by the entity and recommended the case for settlement on payment of settlement charges of Rs 25.35 lakh.

The panel of whole-time members of Sebi approved the recommendation and the settlement amount was remitted in June 2021, the regulator noted.

According to a separate settlement order, Majesco Ltd has settled a case of alleged violation of buy back regulations, by paying nearly Rs 12.19 lakh towards settlement charges.

It was observed that the applicant had granted the approval for the issuance of new shares during the buyback period, in alleged violation of buy back norms, as during the buyback period, the applicant was not allowed to issue fresh shares or other specified securities.

The settlement amount was remitted by the firm in July after the HPAC considered the settlement term proposed by the firm and recommended the case for settlement on payment of Rs 12,18,750.

The panel of whole-time members of Sebi had approved the recommendation.

In an order passed on Tuesday, Sebi levied a total fine of Rs 33 lakh on officials of Geodesic Ltd for violation of several market norms.

It was found that the firm had made misleading announcements to create an artificial positive market sentiment about the company and to inflate the price of the scrip.

"Noticees who were at the helm of day to day affairs of the Company and were also the promoters of the Company who were responsible for such fraudulent announcements," Sebi said.

Noticees refer to Pankaj Kumar, Prashant Mulekar and Kiran Kulkarni.

The announcements of buy-back as well as of declaring dividend by the company were misleading in nature which were never meant to be honoured.

In addition, the company did not make any disclosure to stock exchange regarding the order passed by DRT in the suit filed against the company.

Among other violations, they also failed to implement the model code of conduct as required under Prohibition of Insider Trading norms.

One of the directors had entered into opposite transactions during the investigation period-- April 01, 2012 to March 31, 2013. For violation of several market norms, the individuals are facing a fine of Rs 11 lakh each.