A recent consultation paper from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on “Prohibition of unexplained suspicious trading activities” outlines the proposed regulations. The regulator has identified the practical challenges it faces in dealing with insider trading, front-running, and pump and dump scams. But the remedies it suggests may be impractical and a regulatory overreach. The paper deals with offences like front-running trades on the basis of “material non-public information” (MNPI), insider trading on the basis of unpublished price-sensitive information (UPSI), and with pump and dump schemes. For instance, employees of a financial institution like a mutual fund may know the fund intends to take a stake in a specific company. They could front-run by placing trades on their personal accounts before the institutional trades.
Other types of insider trading can be done by those who are privy to UPSI. Such information could,
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