Shares of state lender Union Bank of India fell to an 11-year low on Friday, a day after it registered a fraud case, Reuters reported. The stocks nosedived 9.13% to Rs 86.05 – its lowest price since March 14, 2007 – on the NSE. However, it recovered slightly later in the day and was trading at Rs 86.45 at 2.53 pm.
On Thursday, the Central Bureau of Investigation registered a case against Hyderabad-based Totem Infrastructure Limited, its promoter and director for allegedly cheating the Union Bank of India of Rs 313 crore. According to the complaint, the total amount that the firm owed to a consortium of eight banks was Rs 1,394.43 crore.
Totem Infrastructure Limited reportedly secured a loan from the consortium that included the Union Bank of India. The loan was declared a non-performing asset on June 30, 2012. The firm “allegedly diverted the funds by opening accounts outside the consortium and through payments of wages by showing excess expenditure and huge stocks”, the CBI said in a statement on Thursday.
The firm’s director, Tottempudi Kavita, and promoter Tottempudi Salalith were believed to be absconding, but the CBI managed to track them down. The agency had issued a Look Out Circular to stop them from leaving the country. On Friday, the agency carried out searches at their residences, PTI reported quoting unidentified officials, and is currently questioning them.
This is the latest in a series of bank frauds reported over the last two months. On Wednesday, the CBI filed a case against Chennai-based jeweller Kanishk Gold Private Limited for allegedly cheating a consortium of 14 banks, led by the State Bank of India, of Rs 824 crore. Earlier, the Punjab National Bank reported a fraud of Rs 12,703-crore.
With multiple reports of bank fraud, shares of many lenders on the NSE tumbled on Friday. Stocks of Syndicate Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, IDBI Bank, SBI, Punjab National Bank, Bank of India and Allahabad Bank were down by 4% to 7%, according to The Financial Express.