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ICICI case: Fin Min looking at BBB member Pradeep Kumar's role at Avista

Avista Advisory was involved in the restructuring of loans of some ICICI Bank borrowers

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

ICICI, Videocon

The finance ministry is looking at the professional assistance provided by newly-appointed Banks Board Bureau member P during his stint at Group, which is caught in the controversy involving ICICI Bank and Videocon Group, sources said.

Rajiv Kochhar, brother-in-law of ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, is the founder of Singapore-based

was involved in the restructuring of loans of some ICICI Bank borrowers, which in turn has raised concerns over propriety and conflict of interest against the backdrop of Videocon matter.

Till recently, -- a former Managing Director of (SBI) -- was an advisor to

Sources said the Department of Financial Services (DFS) is examining the post-retirement professional assistance provided by Kumar during his stint at

Various aspects, such as whether Kumar discharged his duties at Avista only in an advisory role or whether he was also part of the executive decision-making process, would be looked into, they added.

After completing the detailed assessment, DFS, under the Finance Ministry, would hand over the report to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) for its consideration, sources said.

Last week, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), quizzed Rajiv at multiple occasion, which is probing the ICICI Bank-controversy.

The agency has registered a preliminary probe, naming Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot, Rajiv's brother Deepak and others, to determine alleged wrongdoing in the sanctioning of a Rs 32.5 billion ICICI loan to the Videocon Group.

Among the that are said to have hired services of Avista include Videocon, GTL Infrastructure and Suzlon for restructuring of debt.

ICICI Bank was a lender to all these entities.

Jaypee Group spokesperson confirmed hiring Avista for debt restructuring and said that a fee in line with market practice was paid.

"We wish to state that was only involved in the restructuring of FCCBs of Jaiprakash Associates Ltd and Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd but it was never involved in any loan syndication for any Jaypee Group company.

"Avista has been paid a fee of 0.75 per cent to 1 per cent of the restructured FCCBs, which is as per market standards. Thus the reports linking Jaypee Group's dealing with ICICI Bank via Avista are completely baseless," the spokesperson had said.

Jaiprakash Associates, the flagship firm of the Jaypee Group, has restructured foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) worth about USD 110 million while Jaiprakash Power venture got its debt recast of about $225 million.

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 21:35 IST
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