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9 football chairmen no fan wants anywhere near their club

Cardiff City fans protesting over their owner Vicent Tan

The role of a chairman in a football club is crucial, as their decisions can shape the direction and success of the team.

However, not all chairmen are welcomed by fans with open arms.

Some have demonstrated poor decision-making, a lack of football knowledge, or have been involved in controversial activities.

In this article, we will examine a selection of football chairmen who fans would rather avoid at all costs.

Among these characters is Anton Zingarevich, whose time at Reading Football Club left fans disappointed and disillusioned, Massimo Cellino who created an incredibly toxic atmosphere at Leeds United, and Vincent Tan, who changed Cardiff City’s whole history of being a club that wears blue to red.

Anton Zingarevich – Reading Football Club

Anton Zingarevich, a Russian businessman, acquired ownership of Reading Football Club in 2012.

A fan’s interest certainly peaks when they hear of a very rich foreign investor sniffing around the club.

A Russian billionaire, in particular, would lead to comparisons with then-Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who had pumped money into the club and turned it into a force in European football.

Although Abramovich’s reign ended abruptly with sanctions from the British Government over his links to Vladimir Putin, Chelsea fans will always remember the success his cash led to.

Zingarevich turned out to be a major disappointment as he didn’t have anything like as much cash as first thought.

It turned out what money he claimed to have actually belonged to Zingarevich’s father, and his dad wasn’t keen on big spending.

Unfortunately, his tenure was characterized by financial mismanagement and questionable choices.

Zingarevich’s failure to adequately invest in the squad and club infrastructure led to Reading’s relegation from the Premier League in the 2012-2013 season.

A few big name signings arrived the following season, but Zingarevich, who owned 51 percent of the club and was trying to buy the rest, suddenly announced he didn’t have the cash to do so.

The club was back up for sale and The Royals stayed in the Championship until 2023, when they were relegated to League One after a string of equally disastrous owners.

Ultimately Zingarevich’s lack of understanding of the game and disregard for the club’s needs frustrated fans and players.

One fan said: “Trust Reading to find the world’s poorest Russian billionaire!”

Read more: The Darlington FC chairman who built a massive stadium, went to jail and tried to sign Diego Maradona

Massimo Cellino – Leeds United

Massimo Cellino’s tenure as chairman of Leeds United was marked by chaos and controversy.

His erratic behaviour, including numerous managerial sackings and public disputes with fans, created a toxic atmosphere around the club.

Incidents included:

  • Banning Sky Sports because he felt TV coverage meant people weren’t coming to games
  • Sacking manager Brian McDermott (who was also manager of Reading under the previously mentioned Zingarevich) and then unsacking him.
  • Eventually sacking McDermott and replacing him with a manager no one had ever heard of – Dave Hockaday, who had previously been managing non-league Forest Green Rovers – he was sacked after six games.
  • Allegedly sacking goalkeeper Paddy Kenny because he had an “unlucky birthday.”
  • Being banned from owning the club for tax evasion – twice.

Cellino’s inability to provide stability and necessary resources hindered Leeds United’s progress, leaving fans disenchanted.

Peter Ridsdale – Leeds United, Cardiff City

Peter Ridsdale’s involvement as chairman with both Leeds United and Cardiff City was marred by financial mismanagement.

He oversaw the club’s excessive spending at Leeds, eventually leading them into administration.

The stories which came out of Leeds about his epic spending are legendary in football circles.

They include:

  • Players on huge wages and very long contracts
  • £240 on goldfish for his office
  • A fleet of 70 company cars, which cost £600,000 a year
  • £70,000 on private jets for the club’s directors
  • Still paying players wages even after they joined different clubs
  • £5.7m to sacked managers

Ridsdale’s association with Cardiff City was also marked by financial difficulties, leaving the club on the verge of collapse. His actions tarnished the reputation of both clubs and left a lasting negative impact.

In 2012, he was banned from holding directorships of a business for seven-and-a-half years.

Ridsdale remains in football and appears to have learned his lesson after 11 years at Preston North End.

Read more: Why two Hollywood stars bought a struggling Welsh football club

Vincent Tan – Cardiff City

Vincent Tan, a Malaysian businessman, made headlines during his ownership of Cardiff City. His decision to change the club’s traditional blue kit to red sparked outrage among fans, who saw it as a disrespect to their history and identity.

Tan’s interference in team affairs and unpredictable decision-making alienated supporters and contributed to Cardiff City’s decline.

His craziest moments include:

  • Questioning the club’s goalkeeper’s scoring record
  • Allegedly booing his own team
  • Sacking the manager for asking for transfer money
  • Allegedly asking Cardiff to sign players with an 8 in their birthday as he thought it was lucky

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Assem Allam – Hull City

Assem Allam’s attempt to change the name of Hull City to Hull Tigers ignited outrage among fans who felt it undermined the club’s heritage.

The move sparked huge protests in the city and his apparent disregard for supporters’ sentiments caused ructions in the fanbase.

Allam’s controversial decisions and lack of respect for the club’s traditions made him an unpopular figure among Hull City fans.

Tom Hicks and George Gillett – Liverpool

Tom Hicks and George Gillett’s joint ownership of Liverpool Football Club is another marred by financial struggles and internal conflicts.

Their failure to provide the necessary investment and questionable decision-making resulted in the club’s decline on and off the pitch.

The club nearly ended up in administration after their takeover in 2007.

Liverpool fans became frustrated and longed for a change in ownership.

The two promised a new stadium – which never materialised, and said they would not add any debt to the club.

They also had a big falling out and the club’s plight was even brought up in Parliament by the MP Steve Rotheram.

The club had previously won the Champions League, but won nothing during Hicks and Gillett’s three-and-a-half year tenure.

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Thaksin Shinawatra – Manchester City

Thaksin Shinawatra’s time as chairman of Manchester City was overshadowed by his controversial political background.

Shinawatra’s takeover caused controversy as it was approved despite allegations of human rights abuses during his tenure as Thailand’s Prime Minister.

He had £830 million of assets frozen while he was investigated for corruption by the Thailand’s Military Government.

The negative attention and lack of stability during Shinawatra’s reign created an unwelcome atmosphere for the club.

He lasted just a year at the club.

Ken Bates – Chelsea, Leeds United

Ken Bates’ time as chairman of Chelsea and later Leeds United was characterized by financial uncertainty and strained relationships with fans.

His outspoken nature and controversial remarks alienated supporters, overshadowing the achievements of the clubs. Bates’ reign left a bitter taste in the mouths of many loyal fans.

One idea he had was to introduce electric fences at Stamford Bridge to stop fans getting on the pitch – the local council refused the plan.

Ellis Short – Sunderland

American businessman Ellis Short’s ownership of Sunderland Football Club witnessed the club’s decline from the Premier League to League One.

His failure to appoint the right managers and provide adequate financial support contributed to the club’s struggles. Short’s inability to guide Sunderland in the right direction left fans frustrated and craving change.

It is thought billionaire Short lost around $200 million in his time in charge of the club.

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Chairmen hold significant influence over a football club’s success and culture. Unfortunately, certain individuals have proven to be detrimental to their respective clubs, leaving behind a trail of disappointment, mismanagement, and controversy.

These chairmen mentioned in this article have become synonymous with failure and frustration among fans. Their actions serve as a reminder of the importance of responsible ownership and the desire for individuals who genuinely care about the club’s well-being.

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The Frenchman who sued his company because his ‘nightmare’ work was so boring

One of the truths of the world of work is that not every day is an exciting, rewarding rollercoaster.

Sometimes, we have to do things that we don’t want to and that are a bit dull.

Record-keeping, admin, or cleaning out hundreds of old emails probably aren’t on too many people’s lists of things they look forward to.


Most of us just suck it up as part of the job.

But one man despairing about how boring his job was, decided to take a different route.

The employee was Frenchman Frederic Desnard, who took his employer to court because he got so bored.

The lawsuit against French perfume-maker Interparfums used some colorful language, with Desnard describing his work as a “descent into hell” and a “nightmare.”

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He had worked there for eight years before he was made redundant.

However, he also claimed the company cast him aside after he lost a major contract.

He then was off sick for seven months due to various health issues, including depression he said was caused by having “20-40 minutes work each day”

Upon his return, he was let go.

The lawsuit asked for €360,000 as Desnard also claimed bosses called him names and even made him pick up their children from school.

What happened?

He won!

He didn’t get the cash he’d hoped for but was paid around €40,000

Paris’s appeals court ruled that Desnard suffered from “bore out”, which is technically the opposite of burnout, where an employee is overworked.

Strangely, at the time of the lawsuit in 2014, “bore out” wasn’t something recognized by French law.

Desnard’s lawyer said the total lack of stimulation at work had left him feeling “destroyed” and “ashamed.”

He said the situation also led to him suffering an epileptic fit while he was driving.

Speaking to AFP in 2016, Desnard said: “I went into depression. I was ashamed to be paid to do nothing.

“The worst part of it was denying the suffering.”

Some of the jobs he claimed were given to him were setting up the CEO’s new tablet and letting a plumber into his boss’s house.

The company said in court Desnard had not complained about his boring job and lack of stimulation.

Lawyers argued Desnard only raised his plight after learning he was going to be made redundant.

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Is freelancing for you? High-paying freelance jobs to consider

man freelance work on computer touch pad while talking on smart phone

Freelancing has gained immense popularity in recent years, offering professionals the flexibility and independence they desire.

Whether you’re looking to escape the 9-to-5 grind, explore new opportunities, or earn additional income, freelancing can be a viable career option.

However, it’s essential to choose the right freelance job that aligns with your skills, interests, and income goals. In this article, we’ll explore some high-paying freelance jobs to consider.

Software Development

With the ever-growing demand for technology, software development remains a lucrative freelance profession. Skilled developers who can create web applications, mobile apps, or work on specialized software are in high demand.

From coding to troubleshooting, freelance software development can earn substantial income by working on projects for various clients.

Read more: Amazon employees call for better flexibility in latest strike

Digital Marketing

In the digital age, businesses rely heavily on effective marketing strategies to reach their target audience. Freelancers with expertise in digital marketing, including search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, content marketing, and paid advertising, are highly sought after.

The ability to drive traffic, increase conversions, and boost brand awareness can lead to significant freelance opportunities.

Graphic Design

If you have a knack for creativity and visual communication, freelance graphic design can be a rewarding career path. Designers proficient in creating eye-catching visuals for branding, advertising, or web design can command high rates for their services.

With the right skills and a strong portfolio, freelance graphic designers can attract clients and earn a generous income.

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Writing and Editing

Freelance writing and editing offer opportunities to showcase your writing prowess and earn good money. Content creation, copywriting, editing, and proofreading are in high demand in the digital space.

Freelance writers can work on diverse projects like blog posts, articles, website copy, and marketing materials.

Strong writing skills and the ability to meet deadlines are essential for success in this field.

Translation and Localization

As businesses expand globally, the demand for freelance translators and localization specialists continues to grow. Fluency in multiple languages and cultural understanding are valuable skills.

Freelancers can work on translating documents, websites, software, or providing localization services to adapt content for different markets.

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Video Production and Editing

The rise of video content has opened up opportunities for freelance video producers and editors. From creating marketing videos to editing vlogs and corporate videos, skilled professionals can earn a substantial income.

Proficiency in video editing software and storytelling abilities are essential for success in this field.


If you have expertise in a specific industry or field, freelancing as a consultant can be highly lucrative. Consultants provide valuable insights and advice to businesses, helping them solve problems and improve operations.

Whether it’s management consulting, financial consulting, or marketing consulting, freelancers with deep industry knowledge can command high rates.

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Freelancing offers a world of opportunities for those seeking independence and higher earning potential.

By choosing a high-paying freelance job that matches your skills and interests, you can enjoy the benefits of a flexible career while making a great income. Take the time to explore these options, assess your strengths, and embark on a fulfilling freelance journey.

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P&G and Honeywell settle discriminatory job ads claims


P&G, Honeywell, and other companies have settled with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) over allegations they posted job advertisements excluding non-US citizens. 

On May 23, the DOJ announced the ten employers collectively paid over $460,000 to settle the claims.

The case originated from a discrimination complaint filed by a student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who alleged an internship advertised on the school’s recruiting platform was limited to US citizens. 

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The student, a permanent resident with employment eligibility, raised the issue. 

The DOJ investigated and discovered multiple discriminatory ads on Georgia Tech’s platform. 

Each of the ten settling employers had posted at least one job announcement excluding non-US citizens. 

These advertisements discouraged qualified students from applying based on their citizenship status and, in many cases, prevented them from meeting with company recruiters.

Within the past year, 30 employers have settled similar claims with the DOJ, resulting in collective civil penalties of $1.6 million.

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In its announcement, the DOJ said: “The advertisements deterred qualified students from applying for jobs because of their citizenship status, and in many cases the citizenship status restrictions also blocked students from applying or even meeting with company recruiters.”

The agency emphasized its ongoing commitment to enforcing federal civil rights laws in this area. 

Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, said the settlements “should make clear our commitment to enforcing federal civil rights laws to ensure that all applicants have a fair and equal chance to compete for jobs.”

No response to the news has been received from P&G or Honeywell at the time of reporting.

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Dollar General shareholders approve safety audit after $21 million in fines

Dollar General

Dollar General shareholders have approved a resolution to establish an independent audit to improve worker safety.

It follows increasing pressure on the retailer to address concerns in this area. 

The proposal, presented by Domini Impact Investments, calls for an independent third-party audit to evaluate Dollar General’s policies and practices.

Read More: Dollar General found deliberately exposing staff to unsafe working conditions

The audit is expected to examine factors contributing to an unsafe or violent environment, including staffing capacity.

It also involves consultations with employees and customers to identify potential solutions. 

The resolution’s binding nature remains unclear.

Although Dollar General’s board recommended shareholders vote against the measure, the company has not yet disclosed its plans regarding the proposed audit.

Read More: Dollar General hit with more fines over safety failings

A company spokesperson said: “We are awaiting the final report and will report the final results in a Form 8-K within the required period.”

Dollar General said it’s committed to creating a work environment where employees feel valued and heard, encouraging them to provide feedback through established channels.

The retail chain has faced significant safety concerns, accumulating over $21 million in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Those are against various safety hazards, including blocked fire exits, electrical outlets, and excessive clutter. 

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Activists rallied outside the company’s headquarters during the shareholder meeting, with an employee expressing the urgent need for the audit.

They highlighted safety issues faced by workers, like rat infestations and a lack of security.

Dollar General’s repeated OSHA violations have led the agency to designate the company as a “severe violator.”

It is a classification typically reserved for smaller construction firms that fail to address safety concerns. 

The retailer’s safety issues extend beyond fire hazards and clutter, as its stores have also experienced gun violence, resulting in numerous fatalities and injuries.

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NHS contractors could miss out on pay rise

NHS building

Thousands of staff contracted by the NHS are at risk of missing out on the recently negotiated pay rise over one million health workers will begin receiving today – despite working under the same terms and conditions

This situation primarily affects staff employed by social enterprises working in primary care, mental health, charities, and other healthcare sectors.

This is because they are not yet eligible for the pay increase, which could see certain nurses‘ salaries rise by more than £2,750 over two years.

Eligible staff, including nurses, paramedics, 999 call handlers, midwives, security guards, and cleaners, will receive the pay rise, retroactively effective from April.

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They will also be granted a one-time “NHS backlog bonus” as a recognition of the sustained pressure faced by the NHS following the pandemic and the extraordinary efforts made by staff to reduce waiting lists.

However, social enterprise leaders argue NHS contracted staff, who work under the same terms and conditions as those on the Agenda for Change deal, have played an equally crucial role which has not been acknowledged with a pay increase.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is not providing the necessary funding to cover the raise for these staff members.

Read More: More NHS strikes as thousands of junior doctors walkout over pay

Peter Holbrook CBE, the chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, told Sky News: “Social enterprises are a crucial part of the NHS family, delivering over a billion pounds of services and employing many thousands of staff while reinvesting any profits in communities.

“Health Secretary Steve Barclay recently said that he would implement the NHS pay deal for all staff on Agenda for Change – but he has yet to come up with the money, putting these organisations and their staff in an impossible position.

“Social enterprises work by reinvesting any profits into the community, so the companies who employ the staff do not have money in reserve to cover the costs of the new pay deal themselves.

“We still expect the department to take urgent steps to solve this – as they did previously in 2018 – before staff, services and patients are adversely affected.”

Read More: Nursing union leader calls for intervention by Rishi Sunak as biggest NHS strike in history starts

Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “While the 2023 pay uplift has been welcomed and may with help with retention issues, it must be fully funded for all staff.

“The NHS is more than just hospitals, consisting of a range of vital services patients rely on including mental health care, primary care, district nurses and therapists, all of which are contracted indirectly.

“The current arrangement for central funding might see staff at these services miss out and risks the creation of an inequitable, two-tier system for different staff.

“Providers are currently facing the unenviable choice between finding additional savings – likely through cuts to services – to fund the rise, or not implement the raise and risk staff leaving, leaving patients worse off.

A similar oversight was made with the pay rise in 2018, but the government eventually solved this by agreeing to cover it via central budgets.

“We urge the government to review its position and agree to fund the pay award for all staff on AfC terms and conditions, including those on local authority contracts.”

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The DHSC said all eligible Agenda for Change staff would receive the 23/24 consolidated pay award and clarified NHS funding for social enterprises, community interest companies, charities, and similar services would be uplifted through their usual funding routes.

However, there was no further clarification regarding social enterprise staff contracted to work for the NHS.

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Delta Air Lines faces class action lawsuit over carbon-neutral claims

Delta Airlines

A class action lawsuit has been initiated against Delta Air Lines, challenging its assertions of being a carbon-neutral airline.

Mayanna Berrin, a resident of California, filed the case on behalf of people who flew with the airline while living in the state since March 2020.

The lawsuit alleges Delta misleadingly portrayed itself as the “first carbon-neutral airline” by relying on insufficient carbon offsets.

Read More: Five percent pay rise for Delta Air Lines ground staff and flight attendants

Carbon offsetting allows companies to compensate for their carbon emissions by purchasing credits from projects worldwide that reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions, such as reforestation or conservation initiatives.

However, the quality and effectiveness of these credits vary, and there are no universally recognized standards.

Berrin claims Delta’s commitment three years ago to achieve carbon neutrality enabled the airline to gain market share and charge higher prices.

She said she was willing to pay more for flights with Delta because she believed her carbon footprint was being neutralized when traveling for work or visiting family.

Read More: Delta Airlines employees to get the first pay hike since before Covid

The lawsuit argues Delta purchased credits from projects globally, but the benefits derived from these offsets are likely temporary and would have occurred even without the airline’s investment.

To be considered valid, a carbon credit must provide an additional benefit would not have happened otherwise.

Berrin emphasized companies cannot claim carbon neutrality if it is not factually accurate.

She expressed her belief many individuals share her frustrations but might be unaware of their rights or the impact they can make by speaking up.

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A Delta spokesperson responded to the lawsuit, stating it lacks legal merit.

Delta clarified since March 31, 2022, it has shifted its focus away from carbon offsets and towards decarbonization efforts, such as investing in sustainable aviation fuel, renewing its fleet with more fuel-efficient aircraft, and implementing operational efficiencies.

It is important to note the case is not officially considered a class action until it receives certification from a state or federal court, a process that can take several months or even years.

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The plaintiffs will need to present written submissions to the court demonstrating sufficient commonality to succeed in obtaining class action status.

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Meta fights back against FTC in privacy violation case


Meta has filed a motion in a federal court to block the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from imposing new sanctions on the company for alleged privacy violations. 

The legal battle has reignited old accusations against the tech giant.

The FTC initiated a legal proceeding on May 3, accusing Meta of violating a $5 billion privacy settlement from 2019.

Read More: Meta fined $1.3 billion over EU data violations

The agency also seeks more prohibitions, like banning the company from profiting off data collected from young users. 

Meta has asked the US District Court for Washington, D.C., to halt the proceeding.

It argues only the court, not the FTC, can modify or enforce the consent order of the original settlement.

Meta is disputing the FTC’s claims of privacy violations and asserts its commitment to compliance with the order. 

The company has invested significantly in building a robust privacy program. 

Read More: Mark Zuckerberg briefs employees on streamlining plans after Meta layoffs

If successful, the FTC must explore alternative avenues to pursue its allegations.

The FTC’s current Democratic leadership, including Chair Lina Khan, is dissatisfied with the 2019 settlement, which was established when Republicans held the agency. 

Democrats have long questioned whether the settlement adequately addressed the company’s business practices to prevent future privacy breaches. 

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Republicans and Meta have highlighted the record-setting $5 billion fine and the mandated privacy protection improvements were significant components of the settlement.

Meta says the FTC cannot seek substantial changes to the company’s operations by modifying a seven years old agreement.

The outcome of this legal battle will have implications for privacy regulations and the enforcement powers of the FTC over tech companies like Meta Platforms.

The FTC has chosen not to comment on the matter at this time.

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Elon Musk regains the world’s richest person title

Elon Musk

Elon Musk has reclaimed his status as the world’s wealthiest person, which he temporarily lost to LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault a few months ago. 

With an estimated net worth of around $192 billion, the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, surpassed Arnault, with a net worth of $187 billion.

Both have been closely competing for the top spot for several months.

Read More: EU warns Elon Musk of Twitter ban if disinformation rules ignored

This week, Arnault experienced a decline in wealth following a drop in LVMH’s stock on Wednesday, contributing to Musk’s resurgence. 

In December, Arnault overtook Musk as his fortune surged due to a surge in luxury goods sales, driving up LVMH’s stock price. 

LVMH, renowned as one of the world’s largest conglomerates, is home to prestigious brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Celine.

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Musk’s ascent to the pinnacle of the world’s rich list has been remarkable in recent years, thanks to the direct correlation between his fortunes and those of Tesla, the electric vehicle manufacturer. 

His primary asset is the company’s stock, in which he holds approximately 13 percent ownership.

In addition to his role at Tesla, Musk serves as the CEO of SpaceX, a space exploration company, and owns the social network Twitter. 

While LVMH’s shares have seen a 19.7 percent increase this year, Tesla’s stock has risen by an impressive 65.6 percent year-to-date.

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SEBI aims to curb regulatory evasion by high-risk FPIs


Capital markets regulator SEBI has proposed requiring high-risk Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) to provide enhanced disclosures.

It is a precautionary measure against potential manipulation of the Minimum Public Shareholding (MPS) requirement. 

The move comes after SEBI observed that certain FPIs had invested a significant portion of their equity portfolio in a single company for extended periods.

Read More: India and EU to collaborate on rules and standards for the tech industry

That has raised concerns about possible circumvention of regulatory obligations, such as maintaining Minimum Public Shareholding.

In a consultation paper, SEBI suggests obtaining detailed information from high-risk FPIs with concentrated equity holdings in individual companies or business groups

These FPIs would be required to make additional disclosures regarding ownership, economic interests, and control of the funds. 

Additionally, the regulator proposes classifying FPIs based on risk levels, with government entities and related organizations considered low risk, while pension funds and public retail funds fall under the moderate risk category. 

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All other FPIs are categorized as high-risk.

The proposal states that high-risk FPIs, holding over 50 percent of their equity Assets Under Management (AUM) in a single corporate group would be obliged to comply with the additional disclosure requirements. 

However, SEBI also suggests certain threshold relaxations for global entities with higher AUMs and newly-established FPIs during the initial six months.

Existing high-risk FPIs that exceed the 50 percent concentration threshold in a single corporate group will be given a six-month period to reduce their exposure.

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Furthermore, it is recommended that high-risk FPIs with an overall holding in the Indian equity markets exceeding ₹25,000 crore should also comply with additional granular disclosure requirements within six months.

These proposals aim to prevent potential misuse of the FPI route and any potential circumvention of Minimum Public Shareholding regulations. 

SEBI emphasizes that the suggested additional disclosure requirements will not impact low-risk and moderate-risk FPIs in any way.

SEBI has invited public comments on these proposals until June 20.

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