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Gitanjali Gems falls 5%, hits fresh 52-week low; ICICI Bank stock dips 3% on SFIO probe

New Delhi: Shares of Gitanjali Gems plunged by another 5 percent in morning trade as Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) tightened the noose on Punjab National Bank (PNB) offenders by arresting the vice president of Gitanjali Group of Companies. The agency yesterday arrested Vipul Chitalia in the Rs 12,636-crore PNB scam and claimed that he was a "mastermind" who reported directly to diamond trader Mehul Choksi.

Reacting to the development, Gitanjali Gems stock slumped 5 percent to hit its fresh 52-week low of Rs 17.45 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). This is the 15th straight session of fall for the stock. It has lost as as much as 80 percent since 14 February, the day PNB fraud came to light.

On the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the stock fell to a 52-week low of Rs 17.40.

CBI says Chitalia had left the country in the last week of January, as did the prime accused Nirav Modi and Choksi. The fraud was allegedly perpetrated by Modi and his uncle Choksi, the promoter of Gitanjali Gems. It is alleged that they got LoUs and FLCs of Rs 12,636 crore issued in favour of foreign branches of Indian banks based on fraudulent claims.

Meanwhile, shares of ICICI Bank today slumped over 3 percent in early morning trade as the bank's senior officials were summoned by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) with regard to the PNB scam.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

It is the sixth straight session of fall for the stock and has slumped 12.75 percent since 26 February. Senior officials from private sector lenders ICICI Bank and Axis Bank appeared before SFIO yesterday with regard to a probe into the Rs 12,636-crore PNB swindle.

Shares of ICICI Bank today opened on a weak note and lost further ground to touch an intra-day low of Rs 285.30, down 3.32 percent over the previous close.

Meanwhile, shares of Axis Bank, which has Rs 200-crore exposure to the scam-tainted companies promoted by Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, also fell 1.20 percent to hit an intra-day low of Rs 510.55 on BSE.

SFIO has sought information on the accounts of Nirav Modi and Gitanjali groups of companies.

"ICICI Bank has no exposure to the Nirav Modi group of companies, nor has it issued any LoU; nor has any buyer's credit exposure against LoUs with respect to the Nirav Modi group of companies as well as the Gitanjali group of companies," the ICICI Bank response said.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Wednesday opened on a negative note during the morning session of the trade.

The Sensex of the BSE after opening at 33,279.39 points touched a high of 33,301.74 and low of 33,184.37 points.

On Tuesday, the Sensex closed at 33,317.20 points.

The Sensex is trading at 33,197.05 down by 120.15 points or 0.36 per cent.

On the other hand the broader 51-scrip Nifty at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 10,232.95 points after closing at 10,249.25 points.

The Nifty is trading at 10,216.45 points in the morning.

Updated Date: Mar 07, 2018 11:25 AM

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