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LVB writes off bonds worth ₹318 crore ahead of merger with DBS Bank

The Union Cabinet on November 25, 2020 approved the merger of Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBIL, providing comfort to 20 lakh customers of the bank which was put under the moratorium.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

A day ahead of its merger with the Indian arm of Singapore-based DBS Bank, the debt-ridden Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) on November 26 has written off bonds worth ₹318.20 crore as per the existing provisions.

As per the effective date of merger notified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on November 25, LVB will lose its identity on November 27 as it amalgamates with DBS Bank India Ltd.

The RBI, vide their letter on November 26, stressed the need to fully write down the Series VIII, Series IX and Series X Basel-III complaint tier-2 bonds before the amalgamation comes into effect from the appointed date (November 27), LVB said in one of its last communications to stock exchanges.

“If the relevant authorities decide to reconstitute the bank or amalgamate the bank with any other bank under Section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, such a bank shall be deemed as non-viable and both the pre-specified trigger and the trigger at the point of non-viability for write-down of bonds shall be activated.”

“Accordingly, the bonds shall be written off before amalgamation or reconstitution in accordance with applicable rules,” according to the terms of the information memorandum of the respective Basel-III Tier-2 bonds issued by the bank.

In the light of the above provision, such Basel-III Tier-2 bonds need to be fully written down before amalgamation of the bank comes into effect, LVB said, quoting RBI’s letter.

On Wednesday, the RBI notified the effective date of merger of November 27 soon after the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Scheme of Amalgamation of LVB with DBS Bank India Ltd. (DBIL).

The RBI had superseded LVB’s board on November 17 after the private sector lender was placed under a 30-day moratorium restricting cash withdrawals at ₹25,000 per depositor.

The RBI simultaneously placed in public domain a draft scheme of amalgamation of LVB with DBIL.

Started by a group of seven businessmen of Karur in Tamil Nadu under the leadership of V.S.N Ramalinga Chettiar in 1926, LVB has 566 branches and 973 ATMs spread across 19 States and Union Territories.

With non-performing assets (NPAs) soaring, the bank was put under the prompt corrective action framework of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in September 2019.

LVB is the second private sector bank after Yes Bank that has run into rough weather this year.

In March, capital-starved Yes Bank was placed under a moratorium. The government rescued Yes Bank by asking State Bank of India (SBI) to infuse ₹7,250 crore and take 45% stake in the lender.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 5:09:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/lvb-writes-off-bonds-worth-318-crore-ahead-of-merger-with-dbs-bank/article33191112.ece

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