The Mint report for 23 November 2009

The Mint report for 23 November 2009

New Delhi: India’s stock market regulator Sebi has issued a show-cause notice to RIL on several alleged violations. The show-cause notice asks RIL why it should not be prohibited from buying and selling listed securities, not be prohibited from accessing capital markets or not be made to pay up profits that it claims RIL made through insider trading. RIL has denied the allegations and says it has submitted a detailed reply to Sebi, which had not replied. A show cause notice is not an indictment and only requires RIL to provide a reply.

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Reliance Capital says three foreign insurance firms have approached it about buying a stake in its life insurance business. The move comes at a time when Reliance Capital plans to float an IPO for up to 26 % of its life insurance unit called Reliance Life. Prior to the IPO, the company plans sell another 10% of Reliance Life to a strategic investor including foreign insurance companies.

A senior Merrill Lynch executive has said India should not be complacent about undertaking major financial reforms. Kevan Watts, who’s head of the Indian operations of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch says the danger is India will not be enthusiastic about reforms after having avoided last year’s global financial meltdown. For many years, India has been talking about financial sector reforms including giving equal voting rights to foreigners in private-sector banks and allowing foreign companies to participate in the pension sector.

There was uproar in Parliament on Monday over a leaked report that blamed the opposition BJP with playing a role in the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992. Politicians were reacting to a report in The Indian Express newspaper that published excerpts Liberhan report on the demolition. The report mentions current leader of the opposition L.K. Advani who has called the accusation ridiculous. Also on the list of the accused is former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Both Vajpayee and Advani say the demolition of the Babri Masjid occurred spontaneously and was not planned.