BusinessTV analyst gets Supreme Court notice

BY PTI| IN Media Practice | 01/04/2008
Barely a month ago, former Sebi chief M Damodaran had ticked off media personalities for "talking up" and "talking down" stocks.
Reprinted from the INDIAN EXPRESS

PTI: The Supreme Court today issued notice to financial analyst and TV personality Mathew Easow for allegedly advising investors to buy certain scrips, while he himself was selling those stocks. The bench headed by Justice S H Kapadia, while seeking a reply from Easow, who is also a commentator for CNBC TV channel, also stayed the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) judgement that imposed penalty on the market regulator. It also asked the respondent (Easow) to disclose the contract between him and the TV channel.


Barely a month ago, former Sebi chief M Damodaran had ticked off media personalities for "talking up" and "talking down" stocks. The tribunal had set aside the market regulator’s order holding the Mathew Easow Research Securities chairman, an exclusive commentator for the CNBC TV channel, guilty of violating Regulation 4(2)(f) of the Sebi (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices relating to Securities Market) Regulations.


Seeking strict action against the financial analyst, solicitor general G E Vahanvati and Pratap Venugopal alleged that Easow, who regularly featured on various electronic and print media, had recommended a very impressive price appreciation in certain scrips while he himself sold those immediately, enabling himself to earn a huge profit at the cost of unsuspecting investors.


Sebi had sought punitive action against Easow, who had been allegedly misleading investors by giving false and misleading tips on trading of scrips through CNBC TV Channel and its portal Challenging the SAT order that gave a clean chit to Easow, Sebi said the tribunal had failed to appreciate that the respondent had recommended a very impressive price appreciation in certain scrips (between June and December 2005) within a short term, while he himself had sold those very shares on the same day. The counsel said, "The respondent sent six e-mails, which are the subject matter of these proceedings to TV 18, giving stock advise with buy and sell recommendations regarding four listed companies."


While enquiring into the trading pattern of Easow, Sebi found that he had taken an opposite trading pattern to what had been recommended to the investors. "It is axiomatic that a person who recommends others to buy securities must himself be either passive or buy such securities rather than sell them," the petition said. "The only circumstance when a person would sell securities after telling lay investors to buy would be a person who is taking advantage of his misleading information in the first place by giving stock tips, thereby inflating the price of the stock and then offloading such securities after the recommendation is aired," it added.





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