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OPG Securities approaches SAT against NSE’s suspension notice

LiveMint logoLiveMint 25-09-2017 Jayshree P. Upadhyay

Mumbai: Stock broking firm OPG Securities Pvt. Ltd has approached Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) against National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE) on the suspension notice issued by the exchange on 4 September, said two people aware of the matter, including an exchange official.

The NSE on Monday posted a circular on its website stating it is withholding the suspension against Delhi-based OPG as the matter is before SAT. 

OPG Securities was to remain suspended from 29 September to 28 March 2018. 

The NSE circular did not specify if the appeal was against NSE, and the grounds of the challenge.

An email sent to an NSE spokesperson was not answered immediately. 

Messages and calls to Sanjay Gupta, director at OPG Securities, were also not answered. 

“In its appeal, the brokerage firm has challenged the grounds of suspension, stating that no written warnings were issued to the firm to not access NSE systems via secondary servers. In addition, it has raised grievances against the forensic audit report which implicated the firm,” said one of the two persons cited above. 

NSE had issued the suspension notice to OPG Securities on the charge that it violated the exchange’s by-laws and that despite repeated warnings, OPG continued to log in through secondary servers.

NSE started disciplinary proceedings against OPG in February after a forensic audit of the exchange’s systems by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP in December said OPG had unfair access to NSE systems.

According to a Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) show cause notice to NSE on 22 May, OPG kept logging onto NSE systems ahead of others via less-crowded servers while others were using the primary servers.

This was brought to the notice of mid-level management of NSE and in spite of repeated warnings, OPG continued to log on to secondary servers, gaining an advantage over the rest.

Co-location is a facility that allows housing traders’ servers at the exchange premises. This allows faster access to data feeds and price information released by exchanges.

Algorithmic trading or high-frequency trading (HFT) refers to the use of electronic systems that can potentially execute thousands of orders on the stock exchange in less than a second.

Allegations of unfair access pertain to 2012-14, when NSE used to disseminate price information through a unicast system, where information is disseminated to one member after another.

In the first half of 2014, NSE shifted to a system, where price information was broadcast to all members at the same time.

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