ICICI Bank: Sebi lens on Rama Bijapurkar’s trades in ICICI Bank


Mumbai: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is probing into the trades of ‘s former independent director Rama Bijapurkar to see if she violated insider trading rules, said two people familiar with the development.

The capital markets regulator observed that Bijapurkar bought 4,900 shares of ICICI Bank worth ₹38.60 lakh on January 5, when the trading window ahead of the December quarter results was closed. The share purchases were made when she was still on the board of ICICI.

On January 21, ICICI Bank informed stock exchanges that Bijapurkar has resigned from its board with effect from January 23.

In response to an email query from ET, Bijapurkar said, “It was an inadvertent error which I disclosed to the company as soon as I became aware of it. I confirm that I am complying with all requirements pertaining to this.”

Email queries sent to ICICI Bank and Sebi remained unanswered until Sunday press time.

ICICI had put out Bijapurkar’s resignation letter addressed to the bank’s chairman in a disclosure to the stock exchanges on January 21.

“I have recently been given to understand by management that my teaching activity in the area of market and business strategy at an educational institution with which I am associated and my research activities on India’s consumer economy at a not-for-profit research centre with which I am associated, which may require me to occasionally engage with other financial service companies or the investor community, could be in violation of the conflict of interest policy of the bank and the regulator- even in the event of no direct remuneration being earned,” the letter from Bijapurkar to the bank’s chairman said. “In order to avoid any possible ambiguity on my position at any future date as a result of these activities, I have decided to step down.”

“I want to confirm that there is no other material reason for my resignation other than the one mentioned above,” the letter added.

ICICI, in a separate disclosure to stock exchanges on January 22, said Bijapurkar had informed the bank that her independent financial adviser purchased 4,900 shares of the lender in her account “without prior intimation to her” when the trading window was closed on January 5.

The bank also said that the audit committee has imposed a penalty of ₹2 lakh on Bijapurkar for violating its code and Sebi insider trading rules.

Insider trading rules mandate that designated persons including directors and key managerial personnel who have access to unpublished price sensitive information should not trade in securities when the trading window is closed before the earnings announcement.

The trading restriction period is applicable from the end of every quarter till 48 hours after the declaration of financial results. ICICI Bank declared its quarterly results on January 22.

Bijapurkar, a management consultant, joined the board of ICICI on January 14, 2019. She was appointed for five-year tenure ending January 13, 2024. She was part of ICICI’s board governance, remuneration and nomination committee and earned a total remuneration of ₹28.5 lakh, according to the bank’s FY21 annual report. She also held 2,600 shares of the bank.

Bijapurkar is also an independent director on the boards of six other companies including Nestle India, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Cummins India and VST Industries.

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