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Yes Bank Crisis: CBI, ED studying documents, senior officials to be quizzed

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Yes Bank Crisis Updates: Yes Bank, it is No Bank , says DepositorsNew Delhi, March 12 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate are studying the documents seized during the searches carried out at multiple locations in connection with the Yes Bank scam and in the coming days the central probe agencies will summon a number of top officials of the companies named in the case, officials said on Wednesday.

On Monday, the CBI issued a lookout circular (LOC) against seven individuals accused in the scam, including Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor and his family members to prevent any attempt by them to leave the country.

A senior CBI official related to the probe told IANS, “The agency is studying the pattern of the payments made from one company to another company by the named accused in the case.”

He said the agency is also studying the finances as well as the investments made by the accused and also the decision taken by the former directors of Yes Bank.

On Monday, multiple CBI teams carried out searches at the official premises of DHFL in Sir PM Road Fort, two Offices of DoIT Urban Ventures Pvt Ltd in Senapati Bapat Marg and Elphinstone Road, RAB Pvt Ltd and RKW Developers Pvt Ltd in Bandra East, residential premises of Rana Kapoor in Worli, Kapil Wadhawan in Bandra West, and Rakhee Kapoor Tandon and Radha Kapoor in Nariman Point areas.

The agency official further said that the agency has seized several incriminating documents with the details of the investments and the transactions being routed from one company to other companies.

He said that it will start quizzing the people named in the case as well as the former and present serving directors of Yes Bank and other companies named in the FIR.

The ED has already arrested Yes Bank’s former MD and CEO Rana Kapoor in connection with the probe on Sunday.

Besides the CBI, the ED is also preparing the list of people for questioning.

A senior ED official related to the probe told IANS that it is shortlisting the officials as well as the former directors of the bank as well as the people associated with DHFL and other companies named in the money laundering case.

The ED official said that during the searches and after going through the bank records the team has found a serious breach of corporate governance.

He even said that the large corporates who received huge loans and whose loans were restructured by the Yes Bank are also under the scanner.

The ED official said the role of former directors and top management including non-executive chairman will be probed and in the next few days they all will be called for questioning.

The ED as part of the probe on Monday attached the portrait of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by famous artist M.F. Hussain that was sold by Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to Rana Kapoor for Rs 2 crore in 2010.

The CBI began a probe into short-term debentures of the DHFL in which Yes Bank invested Rs 3,700 crore from April to June 2018. The probe is part of another investigation pertaining to Yes Bank’s purchase of debentures from DHFL against which the company was granted loans totalling Rs 600 crore against a collateral security of around Rs 40 crore only.

The loan amount later turned into non-performing asset.

It was alleged that DHFL’s promoter Kapil Wadhawan simultaneously paid kickbacks totalling Rs 600 crore to the Kapoors in the form of a loan of a similar amount to DoIT Urban Ventures, a venture owned by Rana Kapoor’s daughters — Rakhee Kapoor Tandon, Roshni Kapoor and Radha Kapoor.

It was also alleged that Yes Bank did not initiate action to recover the loans extended to DHFL.

The ED also registered a case of money laundering on the basis of the CBI FIR and arrested Rana Kapoor on Sunday morning. One of his daughters was stopped from boarding a flight to London by Immigration Department officials at Mumbai airport.

‘Yes Bank restructuring may intensify NBFI”s challenges”

India”s non-bank financial institutions (NBFI) will likely face renewed pressure on funding and liquidity following the Reserve Bank of India”s takeover of Yes Bank, Fitch Ratings said on Wednesday.

According to Fitch Ratings, the consequences will compound the credit squeeze across the country”s financial system, adding to current economic uncertainty.

“The move comes as the impact of the coronavirus is beginning to be felt in India, raising further risks to economic growth and NBFI asset quality. Rising asset quality and funding risks will place pressure on ratings if conditions worsen materially,” Fitch Ratings said in a commentary.

“The NBFI sector”s direct exposures to Yes Bank should be modest as a whole. Yes Bank”s issues have been known for some time, and companies have had time to pare back any exposure to the bank over the past year.”

As per the commentary, Yes Bank”s advances to NBFIs equated to roughly 1-2 per cent of the NBFI sector”s total bank funding, and the sector”s asset exposures to the bank would be similarly moderate.

“This is the case for Fitch”s rated portfolio of Indian NBFIs, although companies such as Shriram Transport Finance Company Limited (BB+/Stable) and Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd have disclosed some holdings in Yes Bank securities,” the commentary said.

“Shriram Transport”s exposures are to the bank”s Upper Tier II securities, which are not subject to being written down under the RBI”s proposed reconstruction scheme. These holdings amounted to less than 1 per cent of Shriram Transport”s equity at end-December 2019, while Indiabulls had exposure to Yes Bank”s Additional Tier 1 (AT1) bonds.”

Nonetheless, the recent announcement may bring about broader contagion effects for NBFI funding conditions, the ratings agency said.

“The RBI”s planned reconstruction scheme broadly protects the deposits and liabilities of the bank, but calls for a writedown on its Basel III AT1 instruments at present,” the commentary said.

“This may trigger another round of investor risk aversion that tightens market access and raises overall funding costs for borrowers, with wholesale NBFIs likely to remain more vulnerable in this situation.”

The ratings agency cautioned that there may also be a knock-on effects for NBFIs if smaller private banks start to face deteriorating depositor confidence.

Lately, banks have been an important source of liquidity for NBFIs amid the funding squeeze in the local debt markets over the past 18 months, and any weakness in bank deposit funding would constrict liquidity available for lending to the NBFI sector.

“An extended credit squeeze will likely exacerbate asset quality risks for the financial sector including NBFIs, which are already facing pressure from a general economic and property-sector slowdown, and an evolving COVID-19 situation,” the commentary said.

“The asset quality risks that have been largely centred on wholesale property development would, in Fitch”s view, start to broaden if the economy becomes more adversely affected.”

–IANS

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