This blog will keep track of key global and local developments impacting business and markets through the day. Important local and global political developments will also find resonance here.
PNB appoints PwC to probe Rs 11,400 crore fraud, says report
Punjab National Bank has appointed auditor PwC to conduct an investigation into the alleged Rs 11,400-crore fraud involving jewelers Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and their companies, sources told The Economic Times. PwC has been asked to gather evidence that can be used against Modi and his associates in court, sources said.
In the 15-point “scope of work” document issued by PNB on February 17 and finalized on February 21, the bank instructed PwC to identify how the letter of undertaking (LoU) mechanism was misused by Modi, track the money and check on the end use of the funds raised.
It has also been asked to quantify PNB’s losses due to the alleged scam. The auditor will also seek to trace the assets of Modi and others involved that were not disclosed in company balance sheets and could be seized for recovery of dues.
Sensex, Nifty start March series on a strong note
The market has started the March series on a positive note, tracking firm global cues. The Sensex started off around 100 points higher and is currently trading at that level. The Nifty has reclaimed the 10,400-mark. All sectoral indices are trading in the green, with Nifty pharma emerging as the top gainer. Midcaps, too, have seen a strong opening, up around half a percent.
After taking a beating in the past few sessions, state-run banks have seen some strong moves. The Nifty PSU bank index is up over a percent.
Shares of Sun Pharma are up over 3% as its Halol inspection is likely to end today. The stock is the top gainer on the Sensex. Federal Bank is up around 4% after it acquired 26% stake in Equirus Capital.
PNB transfers 1,415 employees post scam
Punjab National Bank (PNB) has transferred 1,415 employees after the scam involving Rs 11,400 crore, using fake letters of undertakings (LoUs) to diamond jeweler Nirav Modi and associates, surfaced earlier this month. “…the Bank has transferred 257 sub-staff, 437 clerks and 721 officers (total 1,415 employees) since February 19, 2018, as per prevailing Rotational Transfer Policy of the Bank,” PNB said in a statement. It, however, denied reports that the bank has transferred close to 18,000 employees saying it is “factually incorrect”.
Nirav Modi fails to keep ED date, agency issues fresh summons
A fresh summons was issued against diamantaire Nirav Modi after he failed to appear and depose before the Enforcement Directorate (ED), sources told PTI. They added that Modi had replied to the ED’s investigating officer (IO), who is probing the role of the diamond merchant and his uncle Mehul Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali Gems, in the Rs 11,400-crore alleged fraud at the Punjab National Bank (PNB), and cited the temporary suspension of his passport and pending business issues as reasons for his non-appearance.
Modi was summoned by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Sources said he had now been asked to join the investigation and appear before the central probe agency in Mumbai on February 26. Modi, it is understood, had sent an e-mail to the ED, stating that while his passport was temporarily suspended, he was also dealing with the recent developments and investigations, pertaining to the alleged bank fraud, against his businesses in the country and hence, he was unable to depose before the agency.
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