ExCEO of subsidiary helped rating agency official buy villa at discount

first_imgNew Delhi: Investigations into the high-profile IL&FS fraud has showed that the then CEO of the group’s financial services arm IFIN helped a senior director of a leading rating agency buy a duplex villa worth crores at a discount when an important circuitous transaction with a defaulter borrower was underway in 2012-13.The probe by the government’s white-collar crime probe agency SFIO has already unearthed connivance of auditors and independent directors with the then top management of IFIN (IL&FS Financial Services Ltd) in defrauding the company. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCIFIN and several other group companies have been found to have indulged in multiple circuitous transactions involving several illegalities including fast disbursals to some borrowers despite their bad track record in servicing existing loans and also delayed recoveries. As per the investigation report, which is part of the first chargesheet filed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), IFIN and other entities from the IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services) group continued to enjoy high ratings from various rating agencies, including due to window-dressing of the company books. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsAs per the report, a part of a loan disbursed to SIVA Group was used by the borrower to pay IFIN for the liabilities arising out of a debt syndication fee. This fee was paid by SIVA group to IFIN for services rendered by IFIN for debt restructuring carried out by the company. The probe showed that in the year 2012-13, SIVA Ventures had an outstanding liability against Unitech, while an outstanding loan of IFIN to Unitech was also overdue. The SFIO probe has revealed that the IFIN top management decided to bail out SIVA group by funding the repayment of the liabilities of Unitech towards SIVA Ventures. Accordingly, sanction and disbursal of Rs 125 crore was done to Unitech group to help them clear their dues to Siva of approximately Rs 80 crore and consecutively Siva to clear loans of IFIN. In this transaction, IFIN not only self-funded their advisory income of Rs 8 crore but also granted additional loans of approximately Rs 45 crore. However, post completion of transaction, on Siva group’s request, it was allowed to utilise a major portion of the loan, approximately Rs 40 crore, to close a loan of Union Bank of India. This was done in consideration of a mandate of restructuring from Siva group to IFIN with a fee of Rs 12.5 crore. “Further, in the interim of this transaction, Ramesh Bawa (who was then CEO and MD of IFIN) also assisted a senior director in Fitch Ratings, Singapore, who appears to be involved in rating of ILFS in buying a duplex villa of Rs 4.25 crore at a discounted price of Rs 3.25 crore,” as per the probe report. When contacted, a Fitch Ratings spokesperson said, “We are unable to comment on it.” According to the website of IFIN, its borrowing programme was rated by renowned rating agencies – Credit Analysis and Research Ltd (CARE), Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Ltd (ICRA) and India Ratings & Research Pvt Ltd (FITCH). It also said IFIN enjoyed “the top notch credit rating for its long term and short term borrowing programme”. The website further mentions FITCH had assigned a national rating of ‘AAA(ind)’ to Long Term Borrowing programme and ‘F1+(ind)’ to Short Term Borrowing Programme of the company, which denotes the highest degree of safety regarding timely servicing of financial obligations and carry lowest credit risk.last_img read more

UN envoy meets Lebanese spiritual and religious leaders on pullout of foreign

Terje Roed-Larsen, who returned to Beirut last night after his one-day visit to Syria for talks with President Bashar Al-Assad, met this morning with Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir – an avid supporter of Security Council resolution 1559.On Thursday night Mr. Roed-Larsen, whose official title is Special Envoy for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1559, met separately with Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani and Sheikh Abdel-Amir Qabalan, vice-president of the Higher Shiite Council. The UN envoy briefed them on the objectives of his mission and sought their support in the implementation of the resolution.That text, adopted last September ahead of elections in Lebanon, supported polling free from outside influence and called for the withdrawal of all remaining foreign forces, the disbanding of all militias and the extension of Government control over the entire country.In an initial report, Mr. Annan said that aside from a UN peacekeeping force, the only significant foreign forces in Lebanon were Syrian. He said Syria indicated it had some 14,000 troops still inside Lebanon stationed near the border, and that it had redeployed about 3,000 other forces.The Secretary-General also reported that the Governments of both countries said the timing of further withdrawals would be determined by the security situation in Lebanon and the Middle East region and they could not provide a schedule for such action.Mr. Roed-Larsen left Beirut this afternoon for Paris, where he is scheduled to meet French President Jacques Chirac over the weekend. read more