The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has barred Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani and his brother Anil from accessing the securities market for a year.
The market regulator said the two brothers traded in shares of Future Retail through a group company on the basis of unpublished price sensitive information before a demerger of certain businesses of Future Retail that pushed its share price higher.
The investigation found that the Biyanis opened a trading account for an entity named Future Corporate Resources Private Limited, which traded in Future Retail’s shares before the demerger decision was made public. SEBI’s order pertains to trades executed when FCRL merged into Suhani Trading and Investment Consultants Private Limited. It said Biyanis and Future Corporate Resources “disputed that they have indulged in insider trading” but added that they did not make “any specific submissions regarding wrongful gains made by them”.
The regulator has also barred Future Corporate Resource Limited Employee Welfare Trust and four others from securities market for one year. As such, Future Corporate Resources and the Biyani brothers will each need to pay a penalty of Rs 1 crore within 45 days.
SEBI barring Biyani from trading in Future Retail shares for two years comes amid the company’s legal battle with e-commerce giant, Amazon. The Delhi High Court has blocked Future Group’s sale of retail assets to Reliance Industries. The Indian company has said its retail unit faces insolvency if the deal fails.
Amazon, which owns a 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons, a Future Group holding company, objected to the deal and approached the SIAC, which passed an interim order in October 2020 to put the transaction on hold until it gave a final ruling on the plea. Amazon had also filed a petition with Indian courts to enforce the interim award.