Ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is being investigated by capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for alleged insider trading in shares of Aptech Ltd, according to media reports.
Jhunjhunwala was ordered to appear before Sebi on January 24, along with his brother Rajeshkumar Jhunjhunwala, wife Rekha Jhunjhunwala and mother-in-law Sushiladevi Gupta, according to a report in Economic Times. Jhunjhunwala’s sister Sudha Gupta was also questioned by the regulator on 23 January, the report added.
A Mint report said that Sebi was examining the time period between February 2016 and September 2016 for irregular trades in Aptech shares, which it suspects were done on the basis of insider information.
To recall, Aptech shares were locked in upper circuit on 7 September 2016 after Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s brother and wife bought 763,057 shares in the company through block deals.
Sebi is reportedly also examining the role of other Aptech board members, including Ramesh Damani and Madhu Jayakumar, in the insider trading case.
Interestingly, Aptech is the only company in Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s portfolio where he wields management control. He is currently Aptech’s chairman and holds a 24.24% stake in the firm valued at around Rs 160 crore. Jhunjhunwala had first bought Aptech in 2005 when he picked up a 10% stake in the firm for Rs 56 per share. He had last raised his stake in the company in February 2019 by 0.19%.
Sebi is already investigating Aptech in a case of money being routed through GDRs (gross depository receipts). The case is reportedly in its last lap of investigation.