No watchdog ban on accessing capital markets: Anil Ambani

January 16th, 2011 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Jan 16 (IANS) Industrialist Anil Ambani Sunday sought to clarify on a consent order of markets watchdog two days ago, and said there was no ban on him or his group companies in accessing stock markets, nor was there any restriction on raising funds.”The Securities and Exchange Board of India has not banned or de-barred Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Natural Resources, Anil Ambani other directors from capital markets,” the leading industrialist told a press conference here.

“The Securities and Exchange Board of India has also placed no restriction on raising of equity and debt resources by any Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group company, or individual,” he said in a 20-minute presentation.

“Our application was made without admitting or denying guilt,” he said, adding the settlement charge of Rs.25 crore each on the two firms was neither a “penalty” nor “fine” and was paid by the directors with no burden on the two entities.

Ambani said as per the watchdog’s consent guidelines, the information submitted and discussed were not to be released to the public. Accordingly, no queries could be entertained on the facts, the basis for consent terms and the related matters.

“This presentation only explains the scope of the consent order, in the interests of over 11 million investors of the group, in view of distorted reports thereon in a section of the media,” said Ambani.

“It is not my mandate, it is not my charter to do any investments in the secondary markets, but to support, fund, encourage and work towards growing the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group.”

He said consent guidelines were introduced in April 2007 and that in the US, the watchdog settled over 90 percent of cases through such orders. In India, the watchdog has passed over 1,000 such orders in the past four years - over one a day on average.

Consent orders were basically aimed at avoiding long-drawn litigations before the watchdog, the tribunals and courts, as also to reduce the regulatory costs and save time and effort, he said.

Ambani said there were some voluntary actions as per consent terms:

-Reliance Infrastructure will not invest in listed securities in the secondary markets till December 2012

-Reliance Infrastructure can invest in mutual funds, primary issues, make open offers and disinvest existing and future investments

-Anil Ambani and specified directors will investment in listed securities in the secondary markets till December 2011

-But they can invest in mutual funds, primary issues, make open offers and disinvest existing and future investments

-Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Power can approach primary markets

-No impact on other group firms, Reliance Communications, Reliance Capital, Reliance MediaWorks and Reliance Broadcast Network

“In summary, I want to say that Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Natural, me personally and all my other colleagues and directors are not banned from the capital markets, stock markets or investments,” Ambani said.

“There is no enforcement order for imposing any ban or penalty. This is a voluntary consent process,” he said, adding: “The sole thing that we cannot do is to buy new securities in the secondary market of other companies.”

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