India’s ICICI Bank pleads ignorance of conflict of interest
The bank told the market regulator that it was not aware of the alleged conflict at the time and hence could not make any disclosures
India’s largest privately owned lender ICICI Bank, whose managing director and chief executive officer Chanda Kochhar is facing an allegation of conflict of interest, has denied charges of violating disclosure norms leveled against it by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
In reply to a show-cause notice issued by the market regulator, the bank said it was not aware of the alleged conflict of interest and hence could not make any disclosures required under listing regulations, Business Standard reports.
SEBI had asked ICICI Bank why it should not be charged with violating the Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements Regulations in the Videocon loan matter. The lender allegedly failed to ensure compliance with the listing rules relating to full-time directors.
The SEBI notice was issued on May 23 and the bank responded last week, the daily added.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had launched an investigation into a loan of 32.5 billion rupees (US$459 million) extended by ICICI Bank to Videocon in 2012 and the possible role of Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar.
It was alleged that Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot invested 640 million rupees in NuPower Renewables, a firm owned by Deepak Kochhar, after Videocon secured a loan from a consortium of banks, including ICICI Bank.
ICICI Bank has denied any wrongdoing in the loan transaction, saying it was part of a consortium of lenders that extended the facility to Videocon.
In May, SEBI launched adjudication proceedings against Chanda Kochhar after it came to light that her husband had financial dealings with the Videocon group.