The Reuters investigation documented at least 12 cases of
prescient messages about major Indian companies being posted in
WhatsApp groups limited largely to traders and market insiders.
"The regulator has asked the exchange to track the trading data
for the companies mentioned in the Reuters report before and
after their results were made public," said an official at one
of the bourses, who asked not to be identified, as he is not
authorized to publicly discuss the matter.
Earlier on Tuesday, Indian newspaper Economic Times, citing an
unnamed official, reported that the regulator has asked the
exchanges for this data.
Indian markets regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of
India (SEBI), the National Stock Exchange and rival bourse BSE
Ltd <BSEL.NS> all did not respond to requests for comment.
Ajay Tyagi, chairman of SEBI, told Reuters last week that the
regulator will investigate the matter.
The messages about the 12 companies with prescient information
obtained by Reuters involved mostly what were characterized as
being upcoming quarterly results, including specific metrics
such as net profits, revenues and operating margins.
They also included messages about upcoming bonus share issues or
Seven of the companies are part of the benchmark NSE index <.NSEI>:
Dr. Reddy's <REDY.NS>, the drug maker Cipla <CIPL.NS>, Axis Bank
<AXBK.NS>, HDFC Bank <HDBK.NS>, Tata Steel <TISC.NS>, IT
services firm Wipro <WIPR.NS> and Bajaj Finance <BJFN.NS>.
The other five were Mahindra Holidays and Resorts <MAHH.NS>,
Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Ltd <CROP.NS>, IT services
providers Mindtree Ltd <MINT.NS> and Mastek Ltd <MAST.NS>, and
India Glycols <IGLY.NS>, a petrochemicals company.
India beefed up insider trading rules in early 2015, and it
expanded what material constitutes "unpublished price-sensitive
information" to include "any information" that is not "generally
available" and that could have a market impact.
(Editing by Euan Rocha and Jacqueline Wong)
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