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Barclays falls foul of Indian regulator

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Barclays said today that it was co-operating with the Indian regulator after the British bank was suspended from dealing in the products that allow offshore investors to invest in India's booming stock market. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said yesterday that Barclays had given “false and incorrect information” on clients who had bought shares in Reliance Communications, the mobile operator controlled by the Indian billionaire Anil Ambani, through offshore derivatives known as participatory notes. Sebi said that it had indefinitely banned Barclays from dealing in the notes "until such time as Barclays satisfies Sebi that it has put adequate systems, processes and controls in place to ensure true and correct reporting". Barclays has until December 18 to respond. It has also been ordered to appoint an auditor “of international standing” to approve its internal systems.

 

Many foreign investors use participatory notes to trade on Indian bourses without having to register with Sebi. However, the regulator does have to be kept informed about the owners of the instruments. The rules were tightened in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, an event that led to huge withdrawals of capital from the Indian market, largely by foreign institutional investors that were using participatory notes. Barclay’s alleged misdemeanors occurred between January 2006 and January 2008, Sebi said. Barclays allegedly told the regulator that participatory notes related to Reliance Communications had been issued to UBS, the bank. Later, the bank said that the notes had been issued to Hythe Securities. They were then issued to Pluri Emerging Companies PCC Cell E Emerging Markets Growth Fund an apparently unregulated entity about which little is known.

 

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Barclays falls foul of Indian regulator - Times Online


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