Citizens' Issues
NSEL fiasco: ED attaches assets worth Rs100 crore

The Enforcement Directorate took action against the borrower company and its two group companies, which owe Rs922 crore to NSEL investors

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs100 crore of a borrower company and its associates in connection with money laundering probe in the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) scam case.


The agency’s latest action, under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) laws, had been taken against the borrower company and its two group companies, which owe the investors Rs922 crore, sources said.


The ED had earlier attached Rs75 crore assets belonging to the same companies. The latest attachment of about Rs100 crore includes properties in Delhi and national capital region.


The companies are one of the largest borrowers in the businesses of this exchange.


The ED is probing the case alongside the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police.


The agency had conducted searches on the premises of the company on 31st October and had sealed a number of them in cities like Mumbai, National Capital Region, Lucknow, Punjab and Chandigarh.


The ED had earlier registered a criminal case under PMLA in this case which had rattled the bourse for allegations of large-scale financial misdeeds.


The ED suspects that the company laundered huge amounts of sums generated from the operations at NSEL and its investigations suggest these funds were ploughed into real estate and other avenues.


A flat in Delhi’s Jor Bagh area, a villa in Gurgaon, a farmhouse in Kapashera, a flat in Mumbai and few other locations in the NCR were searched and have been attached under the latest action.


An attachment action under money laundering laws is meant to deprive the accused of the benefits of the ill-gotten property or assets.


The ED, according to its probe till now, found no sugar stocks in the name of the company which were reflected in the original documents.


Coal India Board has a big task to do today

High dividend, buy-back and shares for employees are some of the bold moves that Coal India could make during Monday’s board meeting

As the world's largest coal producer, Coal India Ltd is now saddled with the task of dealing with a strong workers' union force that plans to go on a strike from 17th December to prevent disinvestment plans of the company. As a first step to dissuade this threatened strike action, the Union Government has decided not to off-load 5% stake in the company!


In fact, at one time, there were plans to disinvest upto 10% of its holdings, out of the total of the total of 90% the government owns, and raise upto Rs20,000 crore. In the present circumstances, this is most unlikely as the government can ill afford to disrupt the entire economy that can be caused by a worker's strike and power generation can be in shambles.


What are the best alternatives that Coal India Board may have up their sleeves, when they meet on Monday, the 16th December?


Just to recapitulate the strong financial standing of CIL, it may be noted that it has free cash reserves of over Rs62,000 crore, as at June 2013. In 2012-13, Coal India paid the highest dividend of 140 (i.e. Rs14 per share with a face value of Rs10), which absorbed Rs8843 crore, out of which as much as Rs7964 crore went to the Union Government as its dividend on its holdings!


Since the government has already withdrawn the idea of 5% disinvestment plan, due to the threatened strike, the Board of Directors have a wonderful opportunity to provide a substantial increase in dividend, which can swell the government kitty. A special dividend of Rs50 or more per share is not out of reach!


The second step that the Board may boldly take is to offer a buy-back programme, by pricing the share at about Rs340-350, as this will enable the government to get rid of more than 5% of its of holdings!


The third step would be even more innovative in offering the shares of the Company to all the employees on the permanent rolls with a provision for non-saleability for a minimum period of five to seven years. This will encourage workers participation in the affairs of the company and benefit them in the long run. Additionally, the Board may also accept the workers proposal as performance-linked pay programme. This will create a sense of belonging for the workers.


Finally, in view of the very large number of collieries involved in the CIL conglomerate a high level independent committee may be established to restructure the entire organization. Many of its mining programmes are bogged down to environmental clearances and some of these have been pending for years. Dedicated railway corridors, availability of rakes, modernization programmes relating to importation of high and sophisticated equipment and technology are other factors that may require a more effective restructuring to enable CIL to carry on its enormous task more successfully. It is time that a bold decision is made to invite successful overseas miners to invest and bring in their knowledge and experience so that CIL can produce more coal and be able to eliminate the importation completely.


CIL has a huge responsibility ahead which they are well qualified to perform.


(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)


GSK Pharma hits all time high on open offer from parent

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals’ parent GSK Plc along with GSK Pte voluntarily offered to buy additional 24.33% at Rs3,100 per share driving the share price of the Indian company to an all time high

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd hit its all time high of Rs2,952 in early trade on Monday on news of a voluntary open offer its United Kingdom-based parent company—GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK plc) along with Singapore-based GlaxoSmithKline Pte Ltd (GSK Pte).

Both the companies, will acquire additional 24.33% stake from public at Rs3,100 per share. Prior this open offer, the parent company was holding about 50.67% of the voting share capital.

The open offer is a voluntary offer in terms of Regulation 6 of the SEBI Regulations, 2011. This open offer is not subject to any minimum level of acceptance. The open offer price will be payable in cash by GSK Pte, in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 9(1)(a) said HSBC Securities and Capital Markets (India) Private Ltd, a  underwriter to the open offer, in corporate filing to BSE.

On 14 November 2013, GSK Plc announced plans to set up Rs864 crore pharmaceutical manufacturing units in India. In the last decade GSK Plc has invested Rs1,017 crore in India through its unit GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals.

Further details of the open offer will be published on or before 23 December 2013 in a detailed public statement.

At 12.01pm, GlaxoSmithKline Pharma was trading 18.9% higher at Rs2934 on the BSE, while the 30-share benchmark was marginally down at 20,714.


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