Sebi was perplexed, but allowed trading in Satyam after fraud
Satyam founder B Ramalinga Raju's communication about an accounting fraud left market regulator Sebi in a fix over halting trade in the stock, but it allowed the scrip to change hands although the US markets did not.business Updated: Jul 15, 2009 16:24 IST
Satyam founder B Ramalinga Raju's communication about an accounting fraud left market regulator Sebi in a fix over halting trade in the stock, but it allowed the scrip to change hands although the US markets did not.
"At that time the issue was do you close the market or do you allow the market to operate?
"Now if there is somebody who knows about the confession (and) wants to buy (or sell) at price 'X', should we as a regulator be coming in the way?" C B Bhave, Chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India, told PTI.
His first reaction on receipt of Raju's e-mail was, however, that of disbelief.
"The content of the e-mail were such that no CEO had ever sent an e-mail like that... One had to verify whether it is genuine or (is) somebody playing a prank," Bhave said, sharing his experience on handling the country's largest corporate fraud estimated to be about Rs 10,000 crore. "If it was true it was dangerous not to let the market move."
The scrip of the iconic IT firm crashed 78 per cent to Rs 39.95 from Rs 179.10 on January 7, the day of the disclosure.
Responding to queries as to why investors interest was not protected whereas the government saved the company and its employees, Bhave said: "Our judgement at that time was that we should not be coming in the way of such a transaction.
"As long as this information is available to the whole market, which was all over the media, we didn't see the need to intervene in the price formation process".