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SEBI debars host of CNBC Awaaz show

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New Delhi, Jan 13, 2021 –
Hemant Ghai, an anchor with CNBC TV 18, has been debarred by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) from trading in stock markets and offering investment advice.

Madhabi Puri Buch, wholetime member, SEBI, passed an interim order on Wednesday in the case of CNBC Awaaz show “Stock 20-20”, co-hosted by Hemant Ghai.

“CNBC TV 18 is also advised to appropriately bring to the notice of the viewers of the shows co-hosted by Mr. Hemant Ghai that SEBI has passed an interim order against him for prima facie violations of SEBI (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices relating to Securities Market) Regulations, 2003,” the 35-page order said.

SEBI found on analysis of the trading pattern of two entities viz. Jaya Hemant Ghai and Shyam Mohini Ghai for the period between January 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020 (Relevant Period), high correlation of the trades of the aforesaid entities was observed with the recommendations furnished in the show “Stock 20-20” aired on CNBC Awaaz.

As per the investigation, Ghai was hosting/co-hosting various shows, including “Stock 20-20”, “Munafe Ki Taiyari Pehla Sauda”, and “Kamai Ka Adda”. “Stock 20-20” is described as a show that features recommendations on certain stocks to be bought/sold during the day.

It was observed that Jaya Hemant Ghai and Shyam Mohini Ghai had undertaken a large number of ‘buy-today-sell-tomorrow’ (BTST) trades during the relevant period in synchronisation with the recommendations made in the show.

Shares were bought on the day before the recommendations being made on the “Stock 20-20” show and sold immediately on the recommendation day.

The trades were done through the authorised person of Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd., namely MAS Consultancy, Mehsana-Gujarat.

SEBI found in its investigations that Jaya Hemant Ghai is the spouse of Hemant Ghai and Shyam Mohini Ghai is the mother of Hemant Ghai.

Hemant Ghai, Jaya Hemant Ghai and Shyam Mohini Ghai have been restrained from buying, selling or dealing in securities, either directly or indirectly, in any manner whatsoever till further directions.

“Hemant Ghai shall cease and desist from undertaking, directly or indirectly, any activity related to giving investment advice, sell or buy recommendations, publishing of research reports etc. related to the securities market till further directions,” the SEBI order said.

“The directions are preventive in nature as Mr. Hemant Ghai continues to be employed with CNBC and continues to co-host the show giving buy recommendations. Further, he has the potential in view of his association with the show to possibly be part of other shows/channels/media giving recommendations/contributing to any activity related to the securities market. Considering the prima facie finding qua his role in the extant matter, there is a high probability that he might continue to misutilise his position as a host of the show other shows/channels/media giving recommendations/contributing to any activities related to securities market,” the SEBI order said.

“Thus, there is an imminent threat of continuation of trading activity in furtherance the scheme that has prima facie been found to be in violation of SEBI Act and PFUTP Regulations. Thus, it is urgently required to prevent Mr. Hemant Ghai, Ms. Jaya Hemant Ghai and Ms. Shyam Mohini Ghai from causing any further harm to the market,” the SEBI order said.

SEBI reached a conclusion that Hemant Ghai had advance information about the recommendations to be made on the show and that he directly/indirectly used them to his advantage. (Agency)

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