The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Samir mum on date with Sebi

Mumbai, Aug. 28: Samir Arora today faced the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to defend himself against accusations that he had indulged in insider trading during his stint as the chief investment officer of Alliance Capital Management Limited.

Emerging from the 90-minute deposition, his first encounter with the capital market watchdog after charges against him were made public, he refused to answer questions fired at him by the posse of waiting reporters.

The man known for his prowess with managing money in a way that generates the best returns has been barred from dealing in securities. Days before the Sebi curbs were announced, Samir announced his resignation from Alliance and unveiled plans for starting a new mutual fund with Rana Talwar’s Sabre Capital.

Arora appeared with his lawyer Aspi Chenoy before Sebi board member T. M. Nagarajan, who is in charge of investigations and surveillance at the agency.

“No date has been set for hearing now,” said Chenoy, who said Doijode and Phatarphekar Associates has been hired to argue Arora’s case before the regulator.

The August 9 Sebi directive prevents Arora from dealing in securities, directly or indirectly, till further orders. One of the most aggressive fund managers in the Indian mutual fund industry, the order came as a grievous blow for a man gearing up to start a new fund.

Arora, who is also blamed for non-disclosures and wrong declarations on investments, stoutly defended himself against the charges. He contended that his decision to liquidate Digital Globalsoft shares before the merger ratio was known was based on a downgrade from an in-house analyst tracking the company, along with a rating revision by Credit Lyonnais.

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