Sebi Reiterates Charges Against Samir Arora

Mumbai, Sept 24: | Updated: Sep 25 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Wednesday reiterated and substantiated all the charges it levelled against star fund manager Samir C Arora of Alliance Capital Asset Management Ltd. It also said that on conclusion of the investigation, appropriate actions will be taken against the board of directors of Alliance Capital Asset Management Ltd (ACAML)/trustees of Alliance Capital Mutual fund (ACMF) for any violations of Sebi Act and Regulations. Sebi has also asked the investigation officer of the case to expedite the probe in the matter.

Samir C Arora
In a point-to-point reply to the issues raised by Mr Arora, the Sebi order passed by full-time board member TM Nagarajan said the action on part of Alliance Capital, however, will not mitigate the need to go into the issue of accountability of the board of directors of the AMC or the trustees.

Sebi had debarred Mr Arora from buying, selling or dealing in securities, in any manner, directly or indirectly on August 9, 2003, till further orders. Sebi had also given personal hearing to Mr Arora on August 28, 2003, to present his case, where Mr Arora was present along with his counsel Aspi Chinoy.

Sebi was expected to complete its probe into the affairs of Mr Arora soon once the interim order is passed. Sebi, in its order, raised four issues for consideration. These are whether there was an emergency to pass an ex-parte interim order against Mr Arora, whether there is a prima-facie case against Mr Arora for passing such an order, whether the interim order passed on August 9, 2003, requires to be confirmed or not, and whether the issue of accountability of the board of directors of ACAML and the trustees of ACMF should be looked into.

According to sources tracking the development, Mr Chinoy, appearing for his client during the personal hearing, defended his client on all the points raised in the Sebi order.

Sebi carried out investigations into the management, conduct and other affairs of Alliance Capital Asset Management (I) Pvt Ltd (ACAML) and found prima-facie case of insider trading by Mr Arora as the fund manager of ACMF. Sebi, in its interim order released on August 9, said that Mr Arora and some foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and their sub-accounts of ACM were responsible for alleged non-disclosures and wrong disclosures under the Sebi Takeover Regulations. Sebi also said that Mr Aroras arrangement with Henderson Global Investors for the purchase of ACMs stake in ACAML was in conflict with his interest as a fund manager.