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Shell Cos Clampdown: SEBI For Forensic Audit of 3 More Firms

In three separate orders passed on September 21, the Securities and Exchange Board of India said the regulator, prima facie, found evidence on misrepresentation by several companies and strong suspicion of misuse of books/funds by them.

PTI

Updated:September 22, 2017, 3:56 PM IST
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Shell Cos Clampdown: SEBI For Forensic Audit of 3 More Firms
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) office building. (File photo)
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New Delhi: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has ordered an audit of three more firms -- Indian Infotech and Software, Newever Trade Wings and Shivom Investment and Consultancy -- which figures among 331 suspected shell companies.

This has taken the total number of firms to 11 against which regulator SEBI has ordered an audit.

In three separate orders passed on September 21, SEBI said the regulator, prima facie, found evidence on misrepresentation by these companies and strong suspicion of misuse of books/funds by them.

The regulator is of the view that a detailed examination or audit should be undertaken to unearth the entire extent of violations.

SEBI has asked the exchange concerned to appoint an independent auditor to further verify misrepresentation, including of financials or business of these three companies, and misuse of the books of accounts, including facilitation of accommodation entries.

Besides, it said trading in securities of these three companies will be "reverted to the status as it stood prior to issuance of letter dated August 7, 2017 by SEBI".

Further, promoters and directors of the firms have been allowed only to buy securities of their respective companies. However, shares held by them in their respective firms will not be allowed to be transferred for sale by depositories.

In a separate order on Thursday, Sebi has lifted trading curbs imposed on Cybermate Infotek and the consequential actions taken by stock exchanges against the firm.

"There is no reasonable ground to further verify the
financials of the company (Cybermate Infotek) warranting an audit," SEBI Whole-Time Member Madhabi Puri Buch said.

SEBI, on August 7, had initiated action against the 331 suspected shell companies by ordering trading restrictions, following receipt of a list of such firms from the government. While the curbs were imposed on the 331 firms from August 8 onwards, they were eased with regard to some companies following appeals against the ruling.

In some instances, the Securities Appellate Tribunal asked the regulator to continue with its probe and pass orders expeditiously.

The regulator found that the companies identified as shell companies were potentially involved in misrepresentation, including of their financials and business, in violation of listing regulations.
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