“Sebi directed the National Stock Exchange to disgorge Rs 625 crore, along with interest at 12 per cent per annum since 2014, for lapses at its co-location facility”.
The stock market regulator has asked India’s largest stock exchange by traded volume NSE to pay over Rs 1000 crore over a scandal which allowed some brokers to make money through gaining preferential access to the stock exchange servers.
A look at the exchange disclosures shows that it has provided for nearly Rs 2000 crore as provisions, pending directions from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
“SEBI has directed that pending completion of investigation to the satisfaction of SEBI, all revenues emanating from colocation facility including the transaction charges on the trades executed through colocation facility with effect from September 2016 be transferred to a separate bank account. Accordingly, as of December 31, 2018, an amount of Rs. 1,994.77 crores was transferred to a separate bank account and the same has been invested as per the Company’s investment policy as approved by the Board of Directors,” said a note to the December 2018 financial statement.
It had also said that the investment have been shown as ‘restricted’. This is because investigations into the charges were ongoing at the time. A whistle blower letter had detailed the issues which related to the bourse’s co-location servers. These servers are located close to the exchange and allow brokers to shave fractions of a second off the time it requires to execute a trade. Some brokers had unfair access to these servers compared to others who had also signed up for the service. This allowed them to make money at the cost of other market participants. A Sebi investigation had been ongoing.
“The management is of the view that pending conclusion of these matter with SEBI, a reliable estimate of the obligation in respect of these matter cannot be presently made and therefore no provision / adjustment to this effect has been made in the financial results,” the December 2018 financials had said.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India has asked it to pay Rs 687.47 crore through two separate orders on Tuesday.
One order required the National Stock Exchange to disgorge “an amount of Rs 624.89 crores, as ascertained in para 9.3 above along with interest calculated at the rate of 12% per annum from April 01, 2014 on wards to the Investor Protection and Education Fund (IPEF).”
A second order placed an additional sum of little over Rs 60 crore.
“Noticee no 1 (NSE) is directed to deposit a sum of Rs 62.58 Crores …along with interest calculated at the rate of 12% p a from September 11, 2015 till the actual date of payment, to IPEF of Sebi,” it said.The amount increases to over Rs 1000 crore after adding interest.
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