Aurobindo Pharma share price fell nearly 4 per cent on Tuesday, a day after markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India slapped a penalty of Rs 22.7 crore on promoters of the drug maker for violating insider trading norms. On the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Aurobindo Pharma shares fell as much as 3.95 per cent to Rs 589.50 in the first half of the session. On the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the Aurobindo Pharma stock price dropped as much as 4.55 per cent to Rs 588.90.
Sebi's penalty is for alleged insider trading violations by Aurobindo Pharma chairman Ramprasad Reddy, his wife P Suneela Rani, his brother and MD of the company Kambam P Reddy, Trident Chemphar, a company belonging to the promoter group of Aurobindo Pharma, Veritaz Healthcare and Top Class Capital Markets between July 2008 and March 2009 when the company entered into a licensing agreement with US-based Pfizer.
According to Sebi's investigation, Pfizer and Aurobindo Pharma entered into certain licensing and supply agreements on July 22, 2008, November 30, 2008 and December 29, 2008. The press releases for this information were issued by both companies on March 3, 2009.
"The said press releases were followed by an increase in price of the scrip of Aurobindo Pharma. During which the licensing and supply agreements had been entered into but not published or disclosed to the stock exchange between July 22, 2008 and March 3, 2009 is hereinafter referred to as the unpublished price-sensitive information period," Sebi said.
The promoters and the above mentioned individuals were found to have traded in the scrip of Aurobindo Pharma prior to the information about the licensing and supply agreements becoming public through the Press Release dated March 3, 2009, hence violating the Prohibition of Insider Trading norms, the market regulator said.
At 11:17 am, Aurobindo Pharma shares traded 0.79 per cent lower at Rs 608.95 apiece on the BSE, underperforming the Sensex which was down 0.24 per cent.