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India Infoline Recommends A Buy and Sell, on the Same Stock

India Infoline publishes two very interesting reports, dated May 31.

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And:

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The first one is only for their “private client group” and the second one, a free report for all.

To confuse things further, Anu Jain of IIFL’s Private Wealth Management said “Punj Lloyd can go down 7-8%” (CNBC-TV18, June 03)

Moneylife talked to their VP of Corporate Communications. Or mis-communications.

When contacted, Harshad Apte, India Infoline’s vice president for corporate communications, said, "Both these reports are in fact, targeted and sent to two separate set of customers and also both these recommendations are for differing time horizons. One of the recommendations (IIFL Private Client Group) is for the retail clients and carries a shorter time horizon while the other one is meant for institutional clients and is for a longer time horizon."

Now I will pause to let you finish laughing.

(Pause)

This is such utter bullshit. Most such recommendations are either prepared by different people who have no idea what the other one is saying, and the head of communications is not doing his job, or it’s simply a way to push one set of people to do something that another set will profit from. They say don’t ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence, but in the world of money, incompetence is a veil behind which a lot of malice hides. In fact, the standard defense is that “time frames are different” – well, the time frames need to be specifically mentioned (there were not) or they should have revealed that they had a sell recommendation as well.

In 2006, Easop Matthew was rapped by SEBI for issuing recommendations where in his personal trading accounts, he did the exact opposite of what he recommended (Sold Kalpana Industries when he recommended a Buy and so on). His defense, which was later accepted by the Securities Appellate Tribunal or SAT, was that the timeframes were different. Go through the links, you will find yourself laughing once again about the timeframe defense.

When your broker tells you to buy or sell, watch out! I get the jitters when these fellows “discover” stocks I own, only because I smell manipulation.

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