Paradise Papers: SEBI to probe Indian entities named
Officials of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the market regulator in the country, have taken cognizance of the Paradise Papers leak and the Indians named in them. They clarified merely being present at an offshore tax-friendly site doesn't violate laws, but non-disclosure of such assets will be investigated. Some entities named are already being probed by the SEBI. Here's more.
What are the Paradise Papers?
A cache of 13.4mn documents of financial data was leaked to German newspaper Sddeutsche Zeitung by an unknown source. The papers were then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) which worked in partnership with 96 global news organizations. In India, the Indian Express investigated the financial data. The disclosure comes a year after the explosive Panama Papers leak.
Indians named in the Paradise Papers
Of the 180 countries mentioned in the data, India ranks 19th when it comes to the number of names. Overall, 714 Indians have been named. The list includes Amitabh Bachchan, Vijay Mallya, MoS for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, Sanjay Dutt's wife Maanyata (under her former name Dilnashin), firms associated to BJP Rajya Sabha MP RK Sinha and controversial corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.
Many Indian entities named are already under the scanner
Some entities named are already under the scanner of investigative agencies like CBI and ED, including companies involved in the Sun-TV-Aircel-Maxis case, Essar-Loop 2G case, and the SNC-Lavalin case. GMR Group, Jindal Steel, Apollo Tyres, Havells, Hindujas, Emaar MGF, Videocon etc were also named.
What will SEBI do now?
SEBI will now probe the allegations. First, the entities named would be asked for details of their offshore assets, which would then be matched with disclosures already made by them in various filings. Information will be sought from foreign regulators if needed. Even domestically, SEBI will coordinate with other agencies and regulators. A multi-regulatory approach might be discussed at mutual forums, an official said.
Meanwhile, most named companies saw a fall in shares
Most firms named witnessed fall in shares: JSPL fell 2.32% on BSE; Essar Shipping went down 2%; Videocon Industries lost 1.82%; Sun TV Network fell 1.74%; GMR Infrastructure dropped 1.57% and Apollo Tyres fell 0.88%. Interestingly, United Spirits, formerly headed by Mallya, gained 1.19%.