February 20, 2018 / 4:30 AM / 3 months ago

Nirav Modi says PNB closed all options to recover dues by going public - report

Feb 20 (Reuters) - Billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi said that Punjab National Bank closed all his options to pay back the dues by going public, according to a report in business daily Economic Times citing news agency PTI.

Nirav Modi reportedly wrote in a letter that his companies owe the bank under 50 billion rupees ($775.25 million) much lower than the amount pegged by the bank. bit.ly/2ETIABK

“The erroneously cited liability resulted in a media frenzy which led to immediate search and seizure of operations, and which in turn resulted in Firestar International and Firestar Diamond International effectively ceasing to be going-concerns. This thereby jeopardised our ability to discharge the dues of the group to the banks,” Modi wrote, in a letter reportedly addressed to PNB management.

Modi and his representatives were not immediately reachable for comment. Last week PNB, India’s No. 2 state-run lender said it detected fraudulent transactions worth $1.77 billion.

The fraud involved firms controlled by Modi and his relatives and sparked raids across Mumbai and New Delhi, targeting offices and homes linked to Modi.

Shares in PNB fell for fifth straight day on Tuesday. The stock, which has shed more than a quarter of its market capitalization since disclosing the fraud, was down 3.5 percent in early trading. (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Euan Rocha)

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