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Influencers in the dock

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) passed an interim order
barring more than 50 entities from the securities market indefinitely, among
them Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi and his wife Maria Goretti, from accessing
the securities market indefinitely. The apex body took this decision because of
the uncovering of “pump and dump” or stock manipulation for listed entities
Sharpline Broadcast and Sadhna Broadcast. The order explained the nexus
between creators of YouTube channels – Moneywise, The Advisor, MidCap
Calls and Profit Yatra, net sellers and profit makers, and volume creators. Stocks
of the aforesaid companies were artificially boosted through propagating false
and misleading information via YouTube, and were pumped by paid advertising
campaigns worth crores. This triggered a spurt in volumes and prices, as many
small investors rushed to lap up the stocks. Meanwhile, certain promoter
shareholders, key management personnel, and some shareholders offloaded a
large amount of their holdings, logging substantial profits.

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