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India to Probe IndiGo Stock Drop Before Company Filing

Updated on
  • Regulator is said to probe why disclosure was a day late
  • SEBI is said to investigate disclosure norms at airline

India’s market regulator is examining the cause for the worst drop in seven months in InterGlobe Aviation Ltd.’s shares before the operator of the nation’s largest airline announced the resignation of its president, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India is investigating a 6.1 percent tumble in the stock on April 27, as well as the reasons behind the delay in the disclosure of Aditya Ghosh’s exit, the people said, asking not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. Ghosh resigned as a director on April 26, a day before the company made the announcement.

A spokesman for the regulator didn’t respond to an email and a phone call seeking comment, while an external spokesman for IndiGo said the company “has complied with all stock exchange listing requirements relating to the announcement.”

The watchdog is reviewing stock-price data to determine if market-sensitive information was disseminated properly or if insider-trading rules were breached, the people said. SEBI will also seek details of connected persons who were aware of Ghosh’s move, they said.

Indigo’s shares slid 4.3 percent to 1,342.85 rupees, the lowest in a month, in Mumbai on Wednesday.

For a BloombergQuint interview with IndiGo co-founder Bhatia, click here

Ghosh was instrumental in shaping IndiGo, as the budget carrier is called, and has been its public face over the years as the media-shy billionaire owners Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal stayed away from the limelight. Ghosh is leaving at a time when the airline is changing some of its most successful policies such as moving to a mixed fleet instead of operating a single aircraft class, buying planes outright instead of leasing them, and planning a new low-cost, long-haul service.

READ: Billionaire Founder Steps in as Biggest India Airline Head Exits

While Bhatia will be interim chief executive officer of the airline, the company said Saturday it will consider naming Gregory Taylor as the new president and CEO. Taylor, who was the executive vice president of revenue management and network planning at IndiGo in 2016-2017, has been made senior adviser, according to the airline’s statement.

The airline on Wednesday also announced quarterly profit that missed estimates. Net income unexpectedly declined to 1.18 billion rupees from a year-earlier period, and compares with predictions for an increase to 4.99 billion rupees, according to an average forecast of eight analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

(Updates with earnings in final paragraph.)
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