ICICI Bank shares fall to seven-week low, extends losses after CBI registers FIR in Videocon loan case

Shares of India’s largest lender ICICI Bank plunged in trade on Monday morning, extending losses for the third consecutive day after investigating agency CBI registered an FIR against former CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon group MD Venugopal Dhoot in relation to a loan case. ICICI Bank shares plunged by more than 4% to a seven-week low of Rs 341.65.

A day after the CBI booked former MD and CEO of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar along with her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon Group’s V N Dhoot for cheating and conspiracy, the officer investigating the case SP Sudhanshu Dhar Mishra was transferred out, according to a report by the Indian Express.  

The officer was part of the Banking and Securities Fraud Cell (BSFC) of CBI in Delhi and signed the Chanda Kochhar FIR on January 22, was transferred to the agency’s Economic Offences Branch in Ranchi the very next day. Interestingly, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said on social media against the CBI FIR suggesting it was “investigative adventurism” and a “journey to nowhere.”

The federal investigation agency was looking into a possible quid pro quo where Chanda Kochhar may have favoured Videocon, which had an investment in a firm promoted by her husband Deepak Kochhar. Notably, Chanda Kochhar had initially denied any conflict of interest, and the bank’s board backed her at first. “I think this is just a good beginning of the investigation. Its roots will go further deep and outside India also. I want the government to see how few companies in India are getting money from abroad. Whose money is this? Chanda Kochhar is just a tip of the iceberg. The situation is the same in all the banks. I feel all the corrupt bankers will now think 10 times before doing something wrong,” whistleblower in the case Arvind Gupta said, according to news agency ANI.

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