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Report: Indian regulator probes prescient messages; requests company data

India's market regulator requested trading data on several companies, including HDFC Bank Ltd., Axis Bank Ltd. and Bajaj Finance Ltd., following a report about prescient messages on company earnings being posted in social media chatrooms, Reuters reported Nov. 21, citing "a person familiar with the matter."

The Securities and Exchange Board of India asked India's stock exchanges to monitor the trading data for companies mentioned in a Nov. 16 report by Reuters regarding at least 12 cases of prescient messages about the companies posted in WhatsApp groups limited largely to traders and market insiders.

An official at one of the bourses said the regulator asked the exchange to monitor the trading data before and after the companies' financial results were made public.

The prescient messages about the 12 companies were mostly about upcoming quarterly results, including specific metrics such as net profits. Seven of the companies involved are part of the benchmark NSE index.

SEBI, the National Stock Exchange and BSE did not respond to requests for comment, the news outlet reported.