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Sebi asks Bata India to probe suspected earnings leak on WhatsApp

BS Reporter/Mumbai 13 Mar 18 | 12:20 AM

File Photo: The logo of Bata shoes brand is pictured on a store in Paris (Photo: Reuters)

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) asked Bata India to probe the leak of its December 2015 quarter earnings on social media platform WhatsApp.

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A preliminary examination by Sebi showed the financial numbers, including sales and profits, circulated through WhatsApp posts closely matched the actual results.

Sebi has directed Bata to "conduct an internal inquiry into the leakage of unpublished price-sensitive information (UPSI) relating to its financial results and take appropriate action against those responsible". It has given three months to the footwear maker for completing the probe.

Sebi has also asked the company to strengthen its processes, systems and controls to ensure "such instances of leakage of UPSI do not recur in future".

In its reply to Sebi, Bata India had submitted it had "received confirmation" from employees and auditors involved in result finalisation process that "they did not discuss" the results with any person outside the company.

Sebi in the recent past has issued similar directives to Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and Tata Motors.

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