India's ICICI Bank shares fall after police probe, RBI fine

06 April, 2018, 03:21 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • An ICICI bank branch in New Delhi. A preliminary enquiry is being conducted to determine if there is enough evidence of wrongdoing for a case to be taken up for detailed investigation

However, ICICI Bank has stepped up its defence of Chanda Kochhar, with board chairman M.K. Sharma saying that she did not need to recuse herself from the credit committee that sanctioned loans to the Videocon group as it was not an investor in NuPower Renewables.

A bank official said the board meeting was routine in nature and refused to divulge any details whether the conflict of interest issue would be discussed.

ICICI Bank was headed by K V Kamath at that time, Dhoot said, claiming that he did not know if Chanda Kochhar was associated with the bank then.

ICICI Bank had loaned $100 million through its Canadian subsidiary to Videocon, which was repaid in full with interest, Dhoot said, and added that there were enquiries by the Enforcement Directorate in the matter, but it did not find any wrongdoing under the foreign exchange management laws.

One of the bank's shareholders, Arvind Gupta had written a letter to the prime minister asking for investigations surrounding the sanction of loans worth Rs 3,250 crore to the Videocon by the bank.

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With regard to loans to the Videocon group, the board had said the banks current exposure is part of a syndicated consortium arrangement.

"We have satisfactorily replied to all the questions of the regulators which is an on-going process for a regulated entity like a bank and the regulator of government departments", ICICI Bank chairman M.K. Sharma had said during a media interaction last week.

The loan had recently made news after reports questioned it and linked it to a possible quid pro quo that Videocon group promoter Venugopal Dhoot allegedly had with NuPower Renewables, a company founded by Deepak Kochchar.

According to the Indian Express investigation, the total transaction value of the complete transfer of shares from Punglia to Kochhar's Pinnacle Energy trust was Rs 9 lakh. In both cases, interface with the lenders was inevitable, and it appears that ICICI Bank has acquired stakes of these few companies too. "The Videocon group account has been classified as an NPA during 2017". RBI, on March 29, imposed a penalty of Rs 58.9 crore on the bank for failing to adhere to the guidelines of held-to-maturity (HTM) category in its bonds portfolio. Meanwhile, in 2017, the CBI has alleged that Sterling Biotech had taken loans of over Rs 5, 000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which has now turned into a non-performing asset. Approximately 5,108,606 shares were traded during trading, a decline of 36% from the average daily volume of 7,936,838 shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of ICICI Bank from a "hold" rating to a "buy" rating and set a $11.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, January 8th. The stock of ICICI Bank Limited (NYSE:IBN) earned "Buy" rating by Morgan Stanley on Tuesday, January 16.

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