Global banking giant HSBC has filed a winding up petition in a Singapore court against an overseas subsidiary of IL&FS Transport Services Ltd (ITNL) for recovery of dues totalling more than Rs 1,000 crore.
In the first such case against a group entity of crisis-hit Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) Group, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) is seeking to recover its funds parked in bonds worth RMB 1,000 million (over Rs 1,050 crore) maturing in 2021, which were issued by ITNL Offshore Pte Ltd.
As per a notice published in Singapore’s government gazette on March 3, HSBC filed its application for winding up of ITNL Offshore Pte Ltd in Singapore High Court on February 27.
The application has been listed for hearing on March 20 and “any creditor or contributory of the company desiring to support or oppose the making of an order on the winding up application may appear at the time of hearing by himself or his counsel for that purpose”, the notice said.
When contacted, an IL&FS spokesperson told , “The company is engaging with bondholders and aims to arrive at an amicable solution to resolve their debt.”
After a huge crisis came to light due to outstanding debt of over Rs 90,000 crore at IL&FS, the government in October 2018 seized control of the debt-trapped company and superseded its board by appointing a new one, led by eminent banker Uday Kotak as its chairman.
ITNL alone is said to account for outstanding debt totalling nearly Rs 40,000 crore, while the company and many other subsidiaries of IL&FS have defaulted on several debt instruments due to insufficient funds.
The new board, as part of the overall resolution process for the IL&FS Group, has sold a number of assets to clear dues and debt.
ITNL and several other IL&FS entities are also facing multiple probes for alleged wrongdoings by the erstwhile management, while role of auditors and credit rating agencies have also come under the scanner.
On Wednesday, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal dismissed pleas of auditors of debt-ridden IL&FS — Deloitte Haskins & Sells and KPMG arm BSR & Associates — along with independent directors challenging their impleadment in the case of alleged fraud at group firm IFIN.
The central government had submitted that the act of fraud perpetuated is on account of “mis-representation and falsehoods about the financial state of affairs” of IFIN, which jeopardised its financial health and also caused serious damage and financial loss to various stakeholders.
GreatGameIndia is a journal on Geopolitics and International Relations. Get to know the Geopolitical threats India is facing in our exclusive book India in Cognitive Dissonance. Past magazine issues can be accessed from the Archives section.