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Sunday, 17 February 2013

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Indian regulator freezes Sahara's bank accounts

Bank accounts of two firms of Sahara, one of India's biggest business houses, have been frozen for failing to refund money to millions of investors.

The firms had raised nearly 240bn rupees ($4.5bn; 3bn) through bonds that were later found to be illegal.

India's market regulator said they had failed to refund the money despite an order by India's Supreme Court.

However, Sahara said its liability was much less and that it had deposited as adequate amount with the regulator.

Sahara began raising the money four years ago from nearly 22 million small investors, many of them in rural India.

However, in August last year, it was ordered to refund the money in 90 days, with 15% interest, for failing to comply with financial regulations.

In December, the Supreme Court gave the firms more time to repay the money. They were asked to initially deposit 51.2bn rupees with India's capital markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The remaining money was to be paid in two instalments by February.

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