Alleged insider trading in Reliance Petroleum being probed

March 18th, 2008 - 7:08 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) India’s markets watchdog is probing alleged insider trading in the shares of the Jamnagar, Gujarat-based Reliance Petroleum, which belongs to the Mukesh Ambani group, parliament was informed Tuesday. “SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has informed that it has initiated an examination in the matter,” Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal said in a one-line written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

“Will the minister of finance be pleased to state whether (the) government has taken any action against the promoters/affiliates of Reliance Industries Ltd regarding the recent mammoth insider trading activities in the shares of Reliance Petroleum Ltd?” queried Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh.

Reacting to the written reply, Reliance Industries said its attention had been drawn to the statement by Bansal in the Rajya Sabha.

“Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and its group companies have complied with all rules and regulations and will cooperate and provide all the necessary information to the concerned authorities,” the company said in a statement.

The shares of Reliance Petroleum fell 1.45 percent, or Rs.2.25, Tuesday on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), with the scrip ending at Rs.152.95 against Monday’s close at Rs.155.20.

In the past 52 weeks, the share has fluctuated in a wide range of between Rs.67.70 and Rs.295, as per information available with the stock exchange.

As on Dec 31, 2007, a little over 75 percent of the shares of the company were held by the promoter group, while public shareholding in the company was 24.62 percent, including those by financial institutions and mutual funds.

Reliance Petroleum had informed the BSE that on Nov 14 and Nov 23 last year that its parent company Reliance Industries had sold 2.54 percent and 1.47 percent, respectively, in the company to raise Rs.40.23 billion ($1 billion).

“The sale of Reliance Petroleum shares was conducted by transactions through the Stock Exchanges and has helped to further broad base the shareholding pattern of Reliance Petroleum,” the company said in a disclosure.

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