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Friday, Dec 20, 2002

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Only stock-in-trade staff, please

C.J. Punnathara

KOCHI, Dec. 19

WITH the NSE beginning to strictly enforce its ruling that only certified personnel can man stockbrokers and sub-broker terminals, the scramble for recruiting qualified staff has begun in earnest among stock broking firms in the country.

The enforcement has created a piquant situation with thousands of personnel manning such terminals facing the imminent possibility of losing their jobs, even as the hunt for new certified recruits has commenced.

Geojit Securities Ltd, having one of the largest number of such certified personnel in the country, is already on the prowl, looking to add another 100 certified staff in the coming 12 months. "And, after the NSE issued Circular No. 311, there have been concerted efforts to poach on our staff," Mr C.J. George, Managing Director of Geojit Securities, told Business Line.

The circular said that CTCL terminal should be made available only to "approved persons" who have passed the NCFM (NSE Certified Financial Management) test. To enforce compliance, NSE has said that it will charge Rs 100 per day per terminal from brokers who have not submitted such information from December 17 to January 16.

For continued non-submission of such data between January 17 and February 16, the brokers would be charged Rs 500 per day. If the compliance is still not forthcoming, the brokers would be charged Rs 1,000 per day per terminal till their orders are complied with.

"The hunt for such recruits is still to begin in earnest given that the fine is still only Rs 100 per terminal per day," sources in the market said. But by mid-February the heat is going to be on and poaching and headhunting will be the order of the day among the stockbroking community.

Some brokers like Geojit are already gearing up to confront such an eventuality. They have written to various colleges in Kerala and Tamil Nadu who offer management, commerce and economics courses, seeking a list of such candidates.

They are already seeking candidates who will pass the NCFM test. Such certification is required for all persons manning NSE terminals, be it for stock market operations, derivatives, futures and options or mutual fund business.

Geojit has already advised its staff who do not have such certification that they must appear and pass the examination at the earliest. The compliance with the guideline would be of immense benefit to the common investor, Mr George said.

But here again, there is a hitch. Only a specific number can still be accommodated for such examinations. So the shortfall in certified staff is likely to continue for some more time and the headhunt will continue among the stockbroking community.

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