'Operator portfolios' under Sebi scanner after midcap mayhem
Some of these operators, a commonly used term for those manipulating stock market trades for personal gains, have been already barred by the regulator for their past misdeeds, but are suspected to be still operating through front entities.
Each of such operators tend to have their own 'portfolio' of select stocks and any movement in even of one of the constituents generally triggers a wide-based surge or fall in the entire portfolio, a senior official said.
The initial investigation into the last week's mid-cap carnage, when a number of stocks fell by 20-30 per cent and the loss was of more than 60 per cent within minutes in one case, has brought to Sebi's notice a synchronised pattern of manipulative activities and the regulator is further probing the matter to nail the culprits, he added.
There are suspicious that a rogue trader, who was barred from the capital markets last year after being found guilty of manipulating various stocks, could be behind the last week's crash in mid-cap stocks, although probe is yet to be completed, the official said.
Sebi is looking to strengthen its surveillance and inspection systems to guard against such operators and put their so-called portfolios under a greater scrutiny. While there have been cases when such operators have been in
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