Indian probe after big falls in Tata Motors, Ultratech stock

Saturday February 02, 2013
Reference from
Tata Motor\'s Agartala showroom

Tata Motor's Agartala showroom

INDIA’S National Stock Exchange said on Friday (February 1) it would investigate whether a trading error caused an unexpected 10-per cent fall in shares of two major companies, Tata Motors and UltraTech Cement.

 

Both the stocks slid suddenly about half an hour before the index closed but made back most of their losses within one to two minutes, dealers said.

 

“The slide was within regulator-set limits,” an official from the National Stock Exchange said.

 

“The matter will be looked into,” the official told reporters. The official said that orders were placed at much lower prices but it was unclear why.

 

“A freak trade or wrong punching of orders could be possible,” said a dealer at a state-run brokerage.

 

India’s market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, in December imposed pre-trade order limits and tighter risk-management controls at stock exchanges to prevent free-falls or price manipulation by brokers.

 

This was in response to a more than 900-point “flash crash” on the NSE’s benchmark Nifty index two months earlier, caused by erroneous trading orders which forced a brief halt to trading.

 

On Friday, shares of Tata Motors and UltraTech Cement also fell on the main Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

 

At the NSE, Tata Motors closed down 1.68 per cent at Rs293 ($5.50/£3.50) and Ultratech finished 1.71 per cent lower at Rs1,870 ($35.15/£22.39). At the BSE, the Tata stock ended 4.36 per cent down at Rs285 ($5.35/£3.41) and Ultratech 2.17 per cent off at Rs1,860.85 ($34.95/£22.28).

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