353

ED Reveals Kochhar Held Shares In A Private Company As Director In A Conflict Of Interest

New Delhi: An Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigation has revealed that former ICICI Bank managing director and CEO, Chanda Kochhar, already held shares in a private company, Credit Finance Limited (CFL), along with her family members and the Videocon Group when she became the executive director of the bank in April 2001 — a significant conflict of interest. It isn’t clear whether this was disclosed to ICICI Bank when Kochhar was named on the board or, indeed, to the Reserve Bank of India when she became CEO.

A copy of an internal ED report, which states that CFL was held jointly by Chanda Kochhar and family (60% of shares) and Videocon (24.7% shares) since 2000-01. “She became executive director (of ICICI) in April 2001 and also held share of CFL along with other shareholders of the Kochhar group. Her husband Deepak Kochhar was the managing director of CFL till 2009,” the report said.

323

Enforcement Directorate Expands Its Probe Into A Total Of 24 Loans Aggregating Rs 7,862 Crore

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has expanded its probe into a total of 24 loans aggregating Rs 7,862 crore that, it believes, were loaned “illegally and criminally” by the bank to the conglomerate when she was in charge between 2009 and 2018. The ED is investigating links between former ICICI Bank managing director and chief executive officer Chanda Kochhar and the Videocon Group.

Both ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which started looking at quid-pro-quos between Videocon Group chief Venugopal Dhoot and Kochhar after it emerged (courtesy, a whistle-blower) that the businessman was an investor in Kochhar’s husband, Deepak Kochhar’s company, were initially focusing on six high-value loans worth Rs 1,875 crore given by the bank to Videocon Group companies between 2009 and 2011, as alleged in the CBI FIR.

303

Donald Trump’s Call For The Federal Reserve To Mirror Its Chinese Counterpart Misses The Mark

New Delhi: US President Donald Trump’s call for the Federal Reserve to mirror its Chinese counterpart misses the mark because Beijing’s main defense against trade-war fallout will come from the finance ministry, not the central bank.

If tariffs begin to really hurt China’s growth this year, there’s plenty of direct fiscal firepower left to stoke the economy, before the People’s Bank of China would have to cut interest rates. Data released Wednesday showed an across-the-board slowdown in April.

Central and local authorities in China have at least 25.1 trillion yuan ($3.65 trillion) unspent in their budgets this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg using official budget plans. That’s two trillion yuan more than the ammunition China had in the same period last year -- and about equivalent to the entire annual output of Germany.

283

Low-Cost Airlines Pioneers Of Brief Discomfort At Bargain Prices Struggle To Master Long-Haul Flights

New Delhi: Low-cost airlines, the pioneers of brief discomfort at bargain prices, have struggled to master long-haul flights. Now one of the world’s most successful budget carriers is considering cut-price business class seats as a way into the Europe-Asia market.

India’s IndiGo, which currently flies as far as Istanbul, is mapping out an ambitious long-distance network. The airline aims to start one-stop trips further into Europe within six months, Chief Executive Officer Ronojoy Dutta said in an interview in New Delhi last week.

IndiGo has captured almost half the Indian market in just over a decade by offering cheap, punctual flights -- and charging extra for almost anything else. Dutta’s long-haul plans are forcing a product overhaul to help passengers endure longer flights and he’s considering everything from extra snacks to a brand-new business class.

263

Inflation In Food Articles Hardens With Steep Rise In Prices Of Vegetables During Month Of April

New Delhi: Wholesale Price-based Inflation slipped to 3.07 per cent in April on cheaper fuel and manufactured items, even as prices of food articles remained high. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation was at 3.18 per cent in March. It was 3.62 per cent in April 2018. Inflation in food articles hardened with steep rise in prices of vegetables during April.

Vegetables inflation was at 40.65 per cent in April, up from 28.13 per cent in the previous month. Inflation in food articles basket was 7.37 per cent, up from 5.68 per cent in the previous month.

Inflation in ‘fuel and power’ category cooled to 3.84 per cent, from 5.41 per cent in March. Manufactured items too saw easing of prices with inflation at 1.72 per cent in April, against 2.16 per cent in March.