The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Insiderís job again' Whispers get louder

Mumbai, Dec. 3: The stock market had got a whiff of the HSBC deal for UTI Bank shares much before the deal was announced in the late hours of Tuesday.

The shares of UTI Bank, moving steadily since the past few days, have touched new levels yesterday.

The stock gained 11.16 per cent on the eve of the announcement. It rose from Rs 85.55 to Rs 95.10, an unusual jump for a bank with a volume of 5.45 lakh.

In hindsight, dealers said earlier trends also showed something was brewing. On November 24, the scrip gained 6.35 per cent from Rs 76.45 to close at Rs 81.30. It has steadily gained ground since then. The scrip gained over Rs 1.70 from Rs 83.75 to Rs 85.55 in December 2 trading.

Investors said such blockbuster deals have been sniffed much before it was brought before the public.

A recent instance is Hewlett Packard's deal to acquire the remaining 49 per cent of Digital Globalsoft. There, too, the volumes and the values had rocketed to new highs.

Mirroring the increase in volumes clocked by UTI Bank, Digital Globalsoft also saw a five-fold increase in between mid-November and November 27.

The rise was followed by the weekend announcement of a open offer to buyback the rest of the shareholding in Digital Globalsoft for an aggregate sum of Rs 1000 crore.

Dealers say it is tough for Sebi or any other market regulator to identify whether any insider trading was involved in these two counters. It could even be smart investors. But many say such claims are far-fetched.

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