November 25, 2010 / 3:55 AM / in 8 years

Suzlon, Lavasa among named in India bribery scam-reports

NEW DELHI, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Suzlon Energy (SUZL.BO), developers Lavasa Corp and DB Realty (DBRL.BO) were among companies named by India’s federal investigating agency in a bribery scandal that led to arrests of eight top officials of banks and financial firms, media reports said on Thursday.

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation said on Wednesday those arrested included the chief executive of LIC Housing Finance (LICH.BO) and senior officials at state-run Central Bank of India (CBI.BO), Punjab National Bank (PNBK.BO) and Bank of India (BOI.BO).

The investigating agency said the accused received bribes valued at hundreds of millions of dollars from private finance firm Money Matters Financial Services MONE.BO. [ID:nSGE6AN0EG]

Money Matters had either bribed or attempted to bribe bankers to get loans for many companies including Suzlon, Lavasa — which is a unit of Hindustan Construction (HCNS.BO) — and DB Realty, The Economic Times reported on Thursday, citing the CBI.

The Business Standard newspaper said a first information report filed by the CBI named more than 20 corporate houses, but not as accused.

Suzlon said in a statement that Money Matters was a financial adviser to a loan raising exercise in 2009 that has since concluded and said it was confident that the transaction was in complete compliance with all regulatory and legal requirements.

Lavasa Corp said Money Matters was associated with it on a fee-based arrangement as an agent for selling properties.

“All our transactions are completely transparent and all transactions have been made through cheque payments,” it said.

DB Realty Managing Director Shahid Balwa told Reuters the company had given one investment banking assignment to Money Matters and made cheque payments for the assignment. “We have no involvement of any kind in this,” Balwa said.

For the newspaper stories, see www.economictimes.com and www.business-standard.com (Writing by Devidutta Tripathy; editing by Malini Menon)

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