ANDHRA PRADESH

GTB shareholders to move court

HYDERABAD, AUG.1. The small and retail shareholders of the Global Trust Bank, under the banner of the newly formed GTB Investors' Association, today decided to move the court for seeking adequate compensation.

At a meeting held here, they decided not to question the bank's merger with the Oriental Bank of Commerce, with six days to go for submission of objections and suggestions.

The meeting also decided to approach leaders of the Left parties for fighting their cause and convincing the Government on the need for protecting the interests of small investors. It questioned the alleged raw deal meted out to the small and retail shareholders, in contrast to protecting the interest of the bank's depositors and employees.

RBI blamed

The shareholders sought to know from the regulators the status of their shares pledged with several banks for raising loans. Many of them blamed the Reserve Bank of India for their present plight, as it had assured both the depositors and the shareholders that the bank was a safe investment option.

Many shareholders at the meeting stressed the need for convincing the regulatory authorities of taking into account the significant intangible value and inherent strengths of the bank so that a reasonable swap ratio could be evolved.

They viewed as peanuts the compensation to be paid to the shareholders by the OBC, since it has already expressed its willingness to repay Rs.6,500 crores of the depositors' money.

The share of the small and retail investors is estimated to be Rs.75 crores.

Ramesh Gelli's advice

The meeting, which elected a core group to prepare a detailed action plan, decided to submit a memorandum to the RBI , the Union Government and leaders of the Left parties.

Meanwhile, Ramesh Gelli, chief promoter of the bank, in a written message, has advised investors not to confront authorities on their decision to merge the two banks. While advising the small and retail shareholders to file an appeal in Court before August 7, he assured them of his support.

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