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PNB fraud: Sebi directs exchanges to furnish F&O data of 13 PSU bank stocks


NEW DELHI: With a view to protecting investor interest in the stock market, Sebi has asked bourses to provide trading data of 13 state-run lenders, ETNow reported on Wednesday.

Trading data has been sought for all futures positions as on February 22, the report added.

Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has sought data on Punjab National Bank, Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, SBI, Dena Bank IDBI, Central Bank, OBC, Union Bank, Vijaya Bank and UCO Bank.

The markets regulator has asked the data under the instructions from Finance Ministry. The move the government and Sebi is to protect investors’ interest in the stock market.

Last month, Punjab National Bank, had filed an initial criminal complaint with the country's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) accusing celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi and others of defrauding the bank and causing it a loss of more than 31 million euros, Reuters had reported.

The financial bungling at state-owned lender PNB has left a bitter aftertaste with the industry. PSU banking stocks are under siege as more details have been tumbling out suggesting that foreign branches of a few lenders have advanced money to PNB customers abroad.

The scale of the fraud strikes you in your face, pegged at $1.77 billion, or Rs 11,400 crore.

More skeletons are likely to come out of the cupboard in this whole saga, warn analysts, who have advised investors to stay clear of the PSU banking space altogether until clarity emerges.

Nirav Modi and companies linked to him are in the eye of the PNB storm. Besides, a confidential PNB note to banks suggests that a similar modus operandi was used by the PNB officials while dealing with companies belonging to Mehul Choksi-promoted Gitanjali Gems, Gili India and Nakshatra. The transactions were initially routed through the CBS system, but subsequently changes were made in the LCs by substantially increasing the amount and transmitted through SWIFT without reporting this to CBS, ET reported. PNB has alleged "clear criminal connivance" of group companies of Modi and Gitanjali with some officials of PNB and other banks.

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