Capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has levied a fine totalling Rs 60 lakh on an individual for violating market norms. The penalty is to be paid by Manish Goel (Manish Kr. Goyal), a Sebi-registered research analyst, within 45 days.
In its 46-page order on Friday, Sebi found that Manish had collected Rs 4.16 crore from 583 clients by charging them for services provided as a Research Analyst. However, he failed to comply with basic requirements of research analyst (RA) norms and also promised assured returns and mis-sold his services to clients.
The regulator also observed that Manish assured the members of the Whatsapp/Telegram groups that they would get one stock recommendation for free in case anyone suffers a loss on account of a particular stock recommendation. "... the promise of an assured return in the Whatsapp/Telegram chats, which were not supported by any research on noticee's part, amounted to the dissemination of misleading information which amounted to a violation of PFUTP (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) regulations," Sebi's adjudicating officer Soma Majumder said in the order.
In addition, the regulator also alleged that Manish being an individual RA, was engaged as the principal officer of a Sebi-registered investment adviser while undertaking business as a research analyst. The investment advisory business of MSRAPL and noticee's business as a research analyst should have been managed by separate teams and separate accounts should have been maintained with respect to revenues from noticee's investment advisory business and research analyst business, as per the order.