Stocks

BMA Wealth founder Agarwalla under SEBI scanner

PALAK SHAH Mumbai | Updated on December 17, 2019 Published on December 17, 2019

BMA Wealth clients tried to meet senior SEBI officials for second day on Monday

Avinash Agarwalla, former director of the suspended stock broking firm BMA Wealth, is under the scanner of market regulator SEBI.

The regulator summoned key BMA Wealth officials to its office on Monday and sought a list of their assets. Investors from across Maharashtra gathered at the SEBI office today to meet senior officials of SEBI and the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT). Last week too, the investors had staged protests outside the SEBI office.

Kolkata-based BMA has defaulted on payment worth several crores to its clients, who have provided a trail to SEBI on Agarwalla’s business empire that includes 14 compaies, out of which one is listed. There are also a big insurance firm and a TMT bar company that had former Indian cricket captain Saurav Gangully as brand ambassador.

SEBI in its interim order against BMA Wealth had observed that the broker had shares worth around Rs 226 crore, pledged with various financial services companies and banks. SEBI said BMA had violated the SEBI norms by not segregating clients’ shares from its own.

SEBI had directed BMA and its directors not to dispose of or alienate any assets, whether movable or immovable, or to create or invoke or release any interest or charge in any such asset without the prior permission of NSE and BSE. But clients say that SEBI should have stopped BMA Wealth from selling those shares as it did in the Karvy case.

A list of companies dug out by clients of BMA Wealth from various government records and submitted to SEBI show that Agarwalla’s linked companies have a total paid-up capital of more than Rs 2.16 crore. Complaints made to SEBI show that Agarwalla was the director of BMA Wealth Creators and BMA Commodities till June 2018 but resigned from them after default claims started piling up.

Also, BMA Wealth Creators changed the company name but never informed clients that Agarwalla had quit the brokerage. BMA has now shut down www.bmaind.com and Agarwalla also deleted his linkedin profit after BMA Wealth was suspended.

List of key companies linked to Agarwalla and BMA that are now under SEBI scanner:

MaithanAlloys Ltd, which is listed with market cap of Rs 1400 crore.

Snowtex Udyog Ltd

Captain Steel India Ltd: This company’s main business is TMT bars. Captain TMT was a popular brand and Sourav Ganguly was its brand ambassador.

AB Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd is a company linked to Anubbhav Bhatter, key associate of Agarwalla.

Published on December 17, 2019
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