Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infra has sought an Intelligence Bureau probe into alleged hammering of 23 infrastructure stocks by a "powerful stock market operator" for personal gains of hundreds of crores of rupees.
Besides Reliance Infra and Reliance Power, the Anil Ambani group has also listed companies like public sector giants NTPC, BHEL and NHPC, as well as private sector entities like L&T, JSW Energy, Adani Power, Tata Power and Voltas Ltd in its letter to the IB, sources said.
Reliance Infra has claimed that the illegal bear cartel run by the stock market operator has caused a loss of over Rs. 300,000 crore (Rs. 300 billion) to the infrastructure sector stocks in a short period of less than 90 days, ending February 9.
Other infra-sector companies listed out in the letter include Jaiprakash Associates, Neyvelli Lignite, GMR Infra, Lanco Indtatech, Jaiprakash Power Ventures, ABB Ltd, Crompton Greaves, Mundra Port, Torrent Power, Thermax, Cummins India, IRB Infra and GVK Power and Infra.
Seeking a probe and immediate action by the intelligence agency against those behind the "bear hammering operation", the company blamed the operators of distorting Indian capital market in general and infrastructure sector in particular.
The operators have been accused of indulging in market manipulations and rumour mongering to destroy the confidence of investors for their own illegal and unjust enrichment.
The company is also believed to have identified the name of the market operator leading this cartel, based on the information from its stock market sources, and has said that he has accumulated huge wealth running into hundreds of crores of rupees in a short span of time.
R-Infra is believed to have told IB that the infrastructure sector has been identified by the government as a growth catalyst and a key driver to make India an economic super power.
Asserting that infrastructure companies need regulatory protection from market manipulative forces, the company said it was important for these companies to raise equity and debt resources to implement their projects.
Last week, Anil Ambani Group MD Gautam Doshi had blamed "corporate rivals" and a bear cartel for market plunge.
Doshi had also said that the group was a victim of the illegal bear cartel that caused a loss of over Rs. 300,000 crore (Rs. 300 billion) to the infrastructure sector in past few weeks.
"We have written to SEBI, stock exchanges and intelligence agencies to immediately investigate these concerted efforts to destabilise the capital markets and create panic among investors," Doshi had said.
The group stocks lost considerably on Friday, with R-Infra and Reliance Power falling by over five per cent each.
Another group firm Reliance Media Works fell by over 8 per cent, Reliance Capital by 7 per cent, Reliance Communications by 6.7 per cent and Reliance Broadcast by 5.7 per cent.