Mumbai Capital

Panama effect: Shares of DLF, Indiabulls drop

DLF's KP Singh (left), and Sameer Gehlaut of Indiabulls (right)  

The Panama Papers exposé hit the share prices of companies promoted by those named in the leak.

On Monday, in a firm Mumbai market, shares of realty major DLF Limited and Apollo Tyres both fell 1.8 per cent, Indiabulls Housing Finance fell 2.2 per cent and Indiabulls Real Estate fell 1.6 per cent.

At least 11.5 million files have been leaked from the database of the world’s fourth-largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The investigation has identified the secret offshore dealings of over 500 Indians, including DLF promoter KP Singh and Indiabulls Group chairman Sameer Gehlaut among others.

However, India Inc leaders, whose names have surfaced in the ‘Papers’, refuted allegations of having offshore bank accounts in tax havens to squirrel money away from national banking systems.

In a statement, Gehlaut said: “I have made overseas investments after paying full taxes in India. Each and every overseas remittance is disclosed to RBI as and when it has been made. All disclosures related to these investments are also made with Income Tax authorities in yearly returns as well as with RBI in annual performance reports. All my overseas investments are strictly in accordance with RBI framework of Overseas Direct Investments.”

However, shares of Indiabulls Housing Finance and IndiaBulls Real Estate fell to Rs 631 and Rs 56.9 respectively.

Indiabulls, in a statement, said, “Sameer receives dividends of Rs 350-450 crore every year. He has been investing his monies in his Indian family trust, SG Family Trust (the Sameer Gehlaut Family Trust) for further investments in its wholly-owned subsidiary in India, Callies Infrastructure Pvt Ltd (India). Further, Callies Infrastructure Pvt Ltd has capitalised its wholly owned subsidiary in Bahamas, Clivedale Overseas Ltd (Bahamas) that is engaged in property development business in London through its subsidiaries under the brand Clivedale.” It said that Indiabulls Real Estate is also engaged in the business of property development in London.

“All disclosures pertaining to business of SG Family Trust and Indiabulls Real Estate have been made to RBI and Income Tax departments for every financial year since inception, and also as and when each of the overseas remittances have been made,” the statement added.

Indiabulls also shared copies of Income Tax returns of the SG Family Trust and Callies Infrastructure, and annual performance reports of Callies Infrastructure submitted to the banking regulator.

Onkar Kanwar, chairman of Apollo Group, and his family members are also among those named in the ‘Papers’. Apollo Tyres shares fell 1.8 per cent to Rs 171.

An Apollo spokesperson said, “India lawfully permits foreign investments in accordance with certain regulations. Any investment abroad that the Kanwar family may have, is in due compliance with the Indian laws, where applicable, including making disclosures wherever required. Much of the family mentioned are non-resident Indians. They are covered by other nations’ permissible laws for their foreign investments, and not by Indian laws and restrictions on residents, in matters such as income tax.”

Promoters of shipping firm Global Offshore Services, named in ‘The Panama Papers’ could not be reached for comment despite various attempts. However, shares of Global Offshore Services gained 2.76 per cent to close at Rs 195.6.

Adani Group and Serum Institute spokespersons declined to comment. Adani group promoter Gautam Adani’s brother Vinod Adani, and Serum Institute owner Cyrus Poonawala’s brother Zavaray Poonawala are named in the Panama leaks.

A DLF statement said all remittances were made after the Government of India introduced the LRS scheme, below the limit prescribed by RBI. They were made from banks which were authorised dealers, “therefore there is no question of wrong doing”.

No companies, it said, were set up by promoter group in BVI, and all the existing company shares were subscribed to as permitted by the government. Each year this was reported to the I-T Department, and mentioned in the annual report.



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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 9:59:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/business/panama-effect-shares-of-dlf-indiabulls-drop/article8435467.ece

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