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SEBI summons Aptech chairman Rakesh Jhunjhunwala in insider-trading probe

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 28, 2020 Published on January 28, 2020

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. File photo

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has summoned billionaire investor and Aptech Ltd Chairman, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, in a case of alleged insider-trading in the shares of Aptech, an education firm owned by him and his family.

In 2005, Jhunjhunwala first picked up a 10 per cent stake in Aptech at ₹56 per share. He gradually raised his holding. Jhunjhunwala last raised his stake in the company by 0.19 per cent in February 2019.

According to a report in Livemint, SEBI is also investigating the role of other family members who hold shares in Aptech, including Jhunjhwala’s wife Rekha Jhunjhunwala and brother and Rajeshkumar Jhunjhunwala.

On September 7, 2016, shares of Aptech hit the upper circuit at ₹175.05 after the investor’s brother and wife bought 763,057 shares in the IT firm through block deals.

Insider-trading refers to the practice of making gains from trading in the shares of a company on the basis of unpublished price-sensitive information (UPSI). This is a violation of rules.

Hence, SEBI has sent the summons under Section 11 C(5) of the SEBI Act that gives the regulator power to summon individuals for any probe.

A source quoted in Livemint, said the regulator is examining a time frame of February 2016 to September 2016 for irregular trades, which it suspects were done on the basis of insider information.

The total value of Jhunjhunwala’s portfolio is estimated to be around ₹18,000 crore.

Jhunjhunwala’s other top holdings include Titan, Crisil, and Lupin. He owns around 8.04 crore shares of Titan. He also holds 78.8 lakh shares of Lupin worth ₹645 crores. At the third position by the number of shares held, he owns 40 lakh shares of Crisil that stood at ₹762 crore. He also owns stocks of companies such as Federal Bank and Edelweiss Financial Services.

Published on January 28, 2020
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