Market regulatory body fines Reliance over failing to properly disclose 2020 Facebook deal

The deal helped billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance slash its heavy debt load and sent its stock prices soaring

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 09:41 AM IST
article-image
Representative Image | Medium

On Monday, news agency Reuters reported that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the country's financial market regulator, fined Reliance Industries and two of its compliance officers for violating fair disclosure norms during Facebook's $5.7 billion investment in its digital unit in 2020.

The penalty has been imposed jointly on RIL and compliance officers —K. Sethuraman and Savithri Parekh.

SEBI said that media had reported about the then-impending deal in March itself, which prompted the shares of the group company to rise.

In April 2020, Meta's Facebook invested $5.7 billion in Reliance's Jio Platforms, aiming to allow WhatsApp to offer payments services to millions of small businesses. The deal helped billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance slash its heavy debt load, Reuters reported.

The regulatory body said that a 24 March, 2020 news article published in the Financial Times detailed the impending investment from the global tech giant. It stated that Meta, then called Facebook, was in advanced stages of talks to make a multibillion investment in Jio Platforms, the digital unit of Reliance Industries. The news was quickly picked up by other media outlets.

"When the bits of (unpublished price-sensitive information) that then became selectively available the company abdicated its responsibility to verify and come clean on the unverified information that was floating around," SEBI said in its order late on Monday.

Reliance has not issued any statement so far. The fine levied on the company was Rs 30 lakh.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Rustomjee to come up with township in Thane

Rustomjee to come up with township in Thane

West Bengal: TMC demands judicial inquiry in Udaipur beheading and Reasi terrorist arrest

West Bengal: TMC demands judicial inquiry in Udaipur beheading and Reasi terrorist arrest

West Bengal: Dispute between BJP and Assembly Speaker once again over PAC chairman post

West Bengal: Dispute between BJP and Assembly Speaker once again over PAC chairman post

Tamil Nadu waiting for an 'Eknath Shinde', says BJP leader Annamalai

Tamil Nadu waiting for an 'Eknath Shinde', says BJP leader Annamalai

Karnataka: Saral Vastu exponent Chandrashekhar Guruji stabbed to death in hotel

Karnataka: Saral Vastu exponent Chandrashekhar Guruji stabbed to death in hotel