Sebi Passes Interim Order Against Entities Manipulating Stocks Through YouTube

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India’s markets regulator on Thursday passed two interim orders against entities using YouTube channels to manipulate stocks, barring them from accessing capital markets.

In a preliminary investigation, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) identified 46 entities that used the video streaming platform to pump and dump stocks.

According to the regulator, the entities, including traders and market analysts, used four YouTube channels to market stocks.

SEBI’s interim order follows a year-long investigation after investors complained that YouTube channels were being used to influence them to buy specific stocks.

SEBI said the entities used misleading YouTube videos to create “false content” on selected stocks to generate artificial interest. A paid marketing campaign was followed to expand the reach.

In its order book, SEBI said that increased interest in these stocks has pushed up share prices and allowed these entities to sell their entire holdings at premium prices.

For one stock, the number of minority shareholders increased from 2,167 to 55,343 in just one quarter. SEBI’s survey found that minority shareholders rose from 517 to 20,009 in the second stock.

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