LVB investors to challenge merger with DBS: Report

Lakshmi Vilas Bank investors seek to challenge merger with DBS Bank: Report

Investors of Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) are planning to approach the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to challenge its decision of merging the Chennai-based bank with DBS's India unit, according to multiple media reports.

RBI, on November 18, announced a draft scheme to amalgamate the cash-strapped Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) with DBS Bank India Ltd. It also superseded the LVB board and placed the bank lender under a 30-day moratorium ending on December 16.

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The central bank got mixed responses from investors and analysts. The All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA), which represents about half a million bank employees, protested against the proposed amalgamation and demanded a merger with a public sector lender instead.

“We’ll make a representation to RBI to reconsider its stand. In the case of CSB Bank, which is a smaller bank compared to LVB, Fairfax infused Rs 1,500 crore for a 51 per cent stake. Comparatively, DBS Bank’s offer doesn't seem fair, K R Pradeep, the bank’s largest promoter shareholder at 5 per cent told Business Standard.

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Some investors were not keen on taking this battle to court like Yes Bank. “It will be impossible to dump the stock in the market. If RBI doesn’t give us a favourable solution, we will leave it at that. We would not want to fight it in the courts,” an investor told the publication.

Shares of Lakshmi Vilas Bank slumped further and fell 20 per cent to hit its lowest permissible trading limit in early trade on Thursday.

LVB's troubles started after it shifted its focus to lending to large businesses from SMEs. Its loans of nearly Rs 720 crore to the investment arms of Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh -- former promoters of pharma major Ranbaxy and Fortis Healthcare -- against fixed deposits of Rs 794 crore made with the bank in late 2016 and early 2017, also turned the bank turtle.

(With agency inputs)