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Sebi fines 'stock expert' for misleading investors on TV show

business Updated: May 11, 2010 23:34 IST
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The market regulator Sebi on Tuesday imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on a stock market expert for allegedly misleading investors by providing them false information on a leading business channel.

Stock expert Pradeep Bhavnani allegedly gave false information about himself and his trade in shares of the United Western Bank, the Securities and Exchange Board said in its order today.

"On September 5, 2006, Pradeep Bhawani was interviewed on CNBC-TV18, regarding United Western Bank (UWB). The noticee (Bhawani) claimed that he was a broker of the NSE and that he had picked up a 7 per cent stake in UWB.

He further added that he would buy more shares to increase his stake to 15-20 per cent," Sebi said.

As per Sebi's investigation, Bhavnani's wife had traded in the scrip of UWB and made a profit of around Rs 26,000.

Investigations also revealed that Bhavnani was neither a member of the NSE nor a sub-broker. It was also observed that he had made no purchase of the scrip of UWB as claimed by him.

Bhavnani had also claimed that he was the president of the National Association of Small Investors. However, this association does not appear in the list of investor associations enlisted in the Prime Directory 2003.

Earlier, the market regulator had expressed concern that investment advices without disclosures influence investment decisions of lay investors.

Former Sebi chairman M Damodaran had said agenda driven content was being provided to investors in the garb of information in a section of both the print and electronic media.