- On February 8th, 2024, SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) issued an interim order against 15 individuals, including 5 who appeared as guest experts on Zee Business, a channel owned by Zee Media.
- These individuals were accused of making “unlawful gains” of Rs 7.41 crore (approximately $9.2 million) between February 1st, 2022, and December 31st, 2022, by taking positions in the market contrary to their on-air recommendations.
- SEBI’s order directed the individuals to disgorge their alleged unlawful gains and pay a penalty of equal amount.
- Following the news, Zee Media issued a clarification stating that they had no involvement in the trading activities of these guest experts. They emphasized that these individuals were external and independent guests with whom the company had no relation beyond their TV appearances.
- The company also highlighted that they fully cooperated with SEBI’s investigation and provided all necessary data.
- They concluded by stressing that neither the company nor any of its employees were involved in any unlawful trading activities and that SEBI’s order did not implicate them in any way.
SEBI’s action against the guest experts serves as a strong reminder of the importance of ethical conduct in the financial markets. It also highlights the need for transparency and accountability from media outlets and individuals offering financial advice. While Zee Media has distanced itself from the actions of these individuals, the incident raises questions about the vetting process for guest experts and the potential for conflicts of interest. It remains to be seen how this case will impact the financial news landscape in India and the level of trust viewers place in on-air recommendations.
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