Laborers are silhouetted as they work at a construction site. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

DHFL Refutes Cobrapost’s Allegations Of Rs 31,000-Crore Fraud

Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. refuted media portal Cobrapost’s allegation of “siphoning off” loans and termed it as a “mischievous misadventure”.

The Cobrapost exposé was done with a mala fide intention, the non-bank lender said in its exchange filing. The allegations are based on a complaint filed by Vikas Shekhar, who is neither a shareholder and nor borrower of the company, DHFL’s management said in a conference call. The non-bank lender said it has filed a complaint against Shekhar with the Economic Offences Wing. The company said it is confident of meeting any scrutiny on any aspect of its operations.

The media portal alleged that the housing finance company diverted loans worth more than Rs 30,000 crore through a network of shell companies. BloombergQuint, however, has not been able to independently verify Cobrapost’s charges.

Shares of DHFL fell as much as 9.5 percent in today’s session to their lowest level in nearly three years. The stock had slumped nearly 12 percent yesterday after the media portal alleged fraud. The scrip tumbled nearly 73 percent in the past 12 months mostly after the payment defaults at IL&FS Ltd. triggered a liquidity crisis among non-bank lenders.

Other Highlights From The Conference Call:

  • Cobrapost report could be an outcome of business rivalry and cannot be ruled out.
  • All lending done by DHFL is in line with its company policy.
  • Some names of the parties mentioned by Cobrapost are right, however, the facts are incorrect.
  • Such accusations could hamper DHFL’s capital raising plans.
  • DHFL has never lend to shell companies.
  • Cannot share all information as the matter is sub judice.
  • Liquidity situation has been challenging in the past few weeks.
  • Expects to generate Rs 4,000-5,000 crore of liquidity by selling finance projects.
  • Have plans to monetise life insurance business; already in talks with an international player.

Also read: A Bond Sale That Eroded Rs 8,158 Crore From DHFL’s Market Value In A Day