Business Standard

Cobrapost charges based on 'mischievous misadventure' with mala fide intent: DHFL


IANS New Delhi
Housing finance company DHFL on Tuesday rejected allegations of siphoning off Rs 31,000 crore of public money as "mischievous misadventure" done with mala fide intent and said it had met all its obligations to the lenders and paid them back over Rs 17,000 crore in the last three months.
The company issued a statement soon after a press conference by the Cobrapost website claimed that primary promoters of Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd (DHFL) siphoned off over Rs 31,000 crore of public money through loans and advances to shell companies and other means to create private wealth for themselves.
The DHFL statement said that all loans are disbursed by the housing finance company in accordance with industry's best practices and in compliance with all regulatory norms. It said that the company's financial statements are submitted to the stock exchanges and are in public domain.
"DHFL and its group companies are confident of meeting any scrutiny on any aspect of our operations and will pursue these frivolous allegations to its logical conclusion," it said.
Calling it the "biggest banking scam in Indian history", Cobrapost editor Aniruddha Bahal alleged that by lending to shell companies without due diligence, DHFL had ensured that the recovery of such dubious loans was impossible.
The company responded that the press conference appeared to be a "mischievous misadventure by Cobrapost with a mala fide intent to cause damage to the goodwill and reputation of DHFL and resulting in erosion in shareholder value".
It said the news website contacted the company only on Tuesday morning, despite announcing its press conference last Friday, seeking answers to 64 questions "laced with political innuendos".
"One would have expected as a responsible media house Cobrapost would have asked these questions during their investigations and not on the day of the press conference. Their entire approach raises serious concerns about the motivation of this so-called expose. It is necessary in public interest that if they believed in the genuineness of their issues to have given DHFL an opportunity to explain the facts that are in any case available in the public domain," DHFL said in a statement.
It said the company had assets worth over Rs 111,000 crore and that despite the recent liquidity regime, it had met all its obligations to the lenders and had paid back to them in excess of Rs 17,000 crore in the last three months.
"DHFL has a strong corporate governance regime and has received AAA credit rating from leading credit agencies. The company is fully tax-compliant and its books are audited by global auditors," it said.
DHFL alleged that the real intent of the exercise was to destabilise the company and the market equilibrium "besides hampering our meeting the ongoing obligations".
"We are also concerned about the timing and the holding of the press conference before the stock market close and days before the interim budget," it said.

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First Published: Jan 29 2019 | 7:56 PM IST

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