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SEBI cautions Asian economies about volatility

Certain investors from matured markets will cause volatility in Asian mkts, said M Damodaran.

business Updated: Nov 23, 2007 13:37 IST

Market regulator SEBI on Friday cautioned Asian economies about the possibility of volatility in their markets due to decisions of "certain categories of investors from matured markets", a trend faced by India and other countries in the region of late.

"There are certain categories of investors from the matured markets, where returns are not as good as in the past... So for greater pastures they have landed in our backyards because our markets give them good returns... They will abandon our markets if they (markets) don't give them good returns... This will lead to volatility in our markets," SEBI Chairman M Damodaran said at a conference in New Delhi.

Addressing the conference organised by the Asian Securities Analysts Federation, Damodaran said market regulators cannot have knee-jerk reactions to the developments in the markets and will have to make rules and principle-based regulations to avoid any systemic risks.

The SEBI chief's remarks assume importance since India and other Asian countries have been witnessing increasing volatility in the markets of late. The Indian equity market benchmark Sensex has lost close to 1,400 points in the past six straight sessions till yesterday. Today, the Sensex is up by 198.48 points.

Market analysts attributed the behaviour to developments in the US and hardening of crude oil prices.

Had the Asian markets been more integrated with global markets, the impact of happenings elsewhere would have been more, Damodaran said.

Pointing out that some of the Asian markets are great playgrounds where insider information is disproportionately present and used, the market regulator called upon analysts to have and industry code for objective and fair assessment of stocks.