Vakrangee has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. It’s share price crashed more than 50% in the last few days because there was a report in Mumbai Mirror that SEBI was investigating Vakrangee for share price manipulation. Such share price manipulation usually involves circular trading.
Now before we talk about Vakrangee, we will quickly explain what is circular trading. Circular trading is trading where the promoter or entities directly or indirectly related to the promoter buy and sell the shares for weeks or months. The shares are exchanged between these parties and the share price is slowly incremented. Normal retail investors or even institutional investors are not aware about this circular trading between insiders they just see that the share price is increasing and so even they are charmed by such share price rise and start buying shares. With all this buying by new investors the share price shoots up more. This goes on for a while and once the share price reaches the target set by the the promoter, the insiders start unloading their shares at high values and the insiders make a huge profit. The share price eventually drops and the retail investors are left holding the loss.
Now of course we don’t know if this actually happened with the Vakrangee but we searched the SEBI archives and found something interesting. Back in 2001 SEBI had conducted an investigation against Vakrangee because there were allegations of creation of artificial market and manipulation of the price in this scrip. The price of the scrip had moved from Rs.10/- to Rs.600/- during September 1999 to March 2000. Some brokers who were involved were banned from trading for 6 months.
In 2014 SEBI had imposed a penalty on one Vakrangee senior executive Prem Meiwal for delay in making disclosures to the stock exchanges with regard to change in his shareholding many times. Prem Meiwal was a VP of corporate affairs but he was also given the additional charge of assisting the company’s finance dept which is a bit fishy.
On Jan 25 2018, Vakrangee bought 20 lakh (2 million) shares of PC Jewellers. Vakrangee claims they had lot of money in the bank so instead of investing in debt or equity funds they decided to invest directly in PC Jewellers. This is not a good sign instead of using the extra funds to grow the company directly or returning the money to Vakrangee’s shareholders by issuing dividends, the company wants to be in the business of buying jewellery company.
Vakrangee has around 40,000 + kendra but what is a bit fishy is that all the kendra’s have the same phone numbers.
The current share price is down more than 50%, now it is your job as an investor to decide whether Vakrangee with such management is a good company to invest or not?