SEBI fines Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani over RPL share trades

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Friday imposed fine of Rs. 15 crore on Mukesh Ambani and Rs. 25 crore on Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) for entering into a scheme of “manipulative trades” in 2007 respect of the sale of 5 percent of RIL stake in Reliance Petroleum Limited (RPL).

The penalties imposed pertain to the trading of RPL shares in the cash and futures segments in November 2007. Sebi believes illegal profits were made by penalised parties through manipulation of RPL’s share prices. This followed RIL’s decision in March 2007 to sell 4.1 per cent stake in RPL, a listed subsidiary that was later merged with RIL in 2009, according to a PTI report. The order said that “any manipulation in the volume or price of securities always erodes investor confidence in the market when investors find themselves at the receiving end of market manipulators”.

SEBI had already directed RIL in 2017 to disgorge an amount of Rs. 447.27 crore along with interest at the rate of 12% per annum from November 29, 2007 onwards till the date of payment. Further, RIL by that order was also prohibited from dealing in equity derivatives in the F&O segment of stock exchanges, directly or indirectly, for a period of one year from the date of that order. The current order imposing penalty is in addition to the 2017 order.