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SC sends Amrapali CMD, two Directors back to police custody

The three were set free a day earlier after sealing of seven premises of the company in Noida and Greater Noida where documents relating to the 46 companies are stocked.

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Amrapali Group

New Delhi, Oct 11 : The Supreme Court on Thursday again sent the CMD and two Directors of real estate major Amrapali to police custody till documents of all 46 group companies seized for forensics audit were sorted and catalogued.

Sending CMD Anil Kumar Sharma and Directors Shiv Priya and Ajay Kumar to police custody, a bench of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said: “We want to know where has Rs 2,600 crore gone? What is the trail of money? Where the money has gone?”

The court said that the three will be present during cataloguing of documents, which CMD Anil Sharma said is likely to take 15 days.

The sorting and cataloguing of documents will be done in one office only at any point of time and not simultaneously in different offices.

On the completion of sorting and cataloguing in one office, the activity will shift to another office.

The three were set free a day earlier after sealing of seven premises of the company in Noida and Greater Noida where documents relating to the 46 companies are stocked.

However, as a relaxation, the bench permitted them to stay at their homes for tonight.

The three were directed to report to Station House Officer of Sector 62 police station before 8 a.m. on Friday, from where they will be taken in police custody to one of the sealed company offices to commence cataloguing of documents.

During the entire process, likely to last 15 days, de-sealed offices will function from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thereafter, the said office will be resealed by police and CMD Sharma and two others lodged in Park Accent Hotel. They will surrender their mobile phones to police during their hotel stay.

Cataloguing was ordered after forensic auditors Pawan Kumar Aggarwal and Ravi Bhatia told the court that documents relating to 46 companies were stacked in gunny bags in places with no power supply or other facilities.

They told the court that unless these documents are sorted out and catalogued, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to proceed with forensic auditing of the accounts of the group’s 46 companies.

Amrapali CMD was allowed to solicit the assistance of company staff in sorting and cataloguing of documents. But it should not lead to crowding and exceed a maximum of 20 people. Internal and statutory auditors working with Amrapali group too were asked to chip in.

At the outset of the hearing, the court was told that seven offices of the Amrapali group located in Noida and Greater Noida (both in Uttar Pradesh) and two others in Buxar and Rajgir districts of Bihar have been sealed.

The court asked forensic auditors to take a call if they wished to shift the documents kept in Buxar and Rajgir to Delhi to save time.

Meanwhile, the court said that it will hear the suo motu contempt notice issued against the three company officials after four weeks.

On Tuesday, the apex court had sent the three to police custody till they handed over all documents related to their 46 companies to court-appointed forensic auditors.

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Sensex opens over 200 points higher

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Sensex Nifty Equity

Mumbai, Dec 17: In line with Asian peers, key domestic indices opened on a positive note on Monday continuing its upward momentum from last week’s healthy gains.

Financials along with metal, power and healthcare stocks advanced while realty and telecom witnessed selling pressure.

At 9.20 a.m., the BSE Sensex traded 260.29 points higher at 36,223.22 after opening at 36,129.13 from its previous close at 35,962.93 on Friday.

The Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), which opened at 10,853.20 from its previous close of 10,805.45, traded higher by 59.15 points at 10,864.60.

IANS

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Fed interest-rate, global trade to dictate equity indices, rupee’s trend

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2000 rupees note

Mumbai, Dec 16 : Global cues such as caution ahead of a US interest-rate decision as well as developments surrounding international trade tensions are expected to determine the trajectory of major domestic equity indices.

“It is expected that the market would continue to track each development related to the trade war, FOMC (the US Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee) interest rate meeting and actions of newly appointed RBI governor,” said SMC Investments and Advisors’ Chairman and Managing Director D.K. Aggarwal.

Consequently, investors will remain cautious over the possibility of any impending hike in the US interest rates which can potentially drive away Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) from emerging markets such as India

Last week’s provisional data from exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) became net sellers, as they off-loaded a total of Rs 2,067.19 crore worth of shares.

“Indices are likely to face renewed pressure after last week’s rally. US Fed’s interest rate decision is likely to be the key event driving the markets,” said Sahil Kapoor, Chief Market Strategist, Edelweiss Investment Research.

“Domestic markets are now factoring in a looser monetary policy with the appointment of new RBI governor.”

The FOMC will meet on Wednesday. Its decision, along with trade data released after the market hours on Friday (December 14) and volatility in crude oil prices are expected to impact the Indian rupee and in turn the broader market sentiment.

“This (trade deficit) number was a bit subdued against expectations… Crude prices are expected to harden a bit which may lead to some mild depreciation in the rupee… Broad range for next week is seen from 71.60 to 72.30,” said Edelweiss Securities’ Head of Forex and Rates Sajal Gupta.

On a weekly basis, the Indian rupee strengthened by 1.1 to 71.90 against the US dollar from its previous week’s close of 70.80 to a greenback.

Apart from the currency movements, developments surrounding the winter session of parliament will have a bearing on the market.

“Developments during the month-long winter session of parliament and any announcements by the government will impact the markets in the near term,” said Viral Berawala, CIO, Essel Mutual Fund.

On technical charts, further upside in the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty50 is likely after the index crosses the immediate resistance level of 10,941 points.

“Technically, with the Nifty rallying higher for the fourth consecutive session, the bulls remain in control,” HDFC Securities’ Retail Research Head Deepak Jasani told IANS.

“Further upsides are likely in the coming week once the immediate resistances of 10,941 points are taken out. Crucial supports to watch for any weakness are at 10,588 points.”

The key equity indices had ended last week on a firm note as expectation of lower interest rates and further liquidity infusion by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under its new chief, along with healthy macro-economic data points had buoyed investor sentiments.

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Wall Street collapses, S&P 500 ends at lowest since April

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Wall Street

New York, Dec 15: US stocks fell sharply on Friday as investors grew concerns over a possible slowdown of the global economy and a slew of corporate news.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 496.87 points, or 2.02 percent, to 24,100.51. The S&P 500 decreased 50.59 points, or 1.91 percent, to 2,599.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 159.67 points, or 2.26 percent, to 6,910.66, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Dow slumped more than 550 points at its low during the session and dived to its lowest close since May.

The S&P 500 dipped to its lowest closing level since April. All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors closed lower, with health and technology down 3.37 percent and 2.48 percent, respectively, leading the laggards.

After Friday’s steep sell-off, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is now just up 0.11 percent for the year.

The Cboe Volatility index, widely considered the best fear gauge in the stock market, rose 4.75 percent to 21.63 on Friday.

Global markets were in risk-off mode with investors simply trying to limit performance damage rather than reach for outperformance, according to some analysts.

“Traders are again selling shares of profitable trades before the closing of the year. There isn’t a great deal of volume in stock trading today, so that means there is less resistance against the pressure from sellers today,” John Monaco, a trader at Wellington Shields & Co. LLC, told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, a strong U.S. dollar also complicated the situation. The U.S. dollar rose in late trading on Friday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, rose 0.39 percent to 97.4441 at 3:00 p.m. (2000 GMT).

“Today’s lower market index seems to be derived from another day of strong U.S. currency. The U.S. dollar’s strength must be monitored closely as too much strength in the dollar hurts global corporate profits,” said John.

Wall Street also digested a slew of corporate news.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson, a Dow member, plunged more than 10 percent on Friday after Reuters reported the company knew about asbestos in its baby powder for decades.

Apple stock slid 3.2 percent after top analysts from TF International Securities cut iPhone shipment estimates by 20 percent.

On the economic front, U.S. retail sales increased 0.2 percent last month, led by online stores, the Commerce Department said on Friday. The reading beat market expectations.

Meanwhile, U.S. industrial production rose 0.6 percent in November, topping market forecasts as gains in mining and utilities offset declines in manufacturing, according to the Federal Reserve.

IANS

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