Asian Markets

Shares of India's Muthoot Finance drop after chairman's death

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BENGALURU, March 8 (Reuters) - Shares of Indian non-banking financial firm Muthoot Finance Ltd (MUTT.NS) fell the most in nearly two months on Monday, after group chairman M.G. George Muthoot died over the weekend, with media reports saying he fell from his fourth floor house in New Delhi.

The financier, grandson of the gold financing company's founding chairman, is credited with growing the company into a pan-India name and scaling its presence beyond the southern state of Kerala, where it is headquartered.

George Muthoot took charge as chairman in 1993, overseeing its expansion into more than 4,500 branches across the country and growing its market capital nearly eight folds in the past decade.

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"Under his stewardship, Muthoot Finance saw new heights of growth and became the market leader in (the) Gold Loan Industry," the company said in a statement on Saturday.

The company did not mention the cause of his death but media reports, citing police sources, said he fell from the fourth floor of his house in the national capital.

The forensic department of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has constituted a board to probe the cause of death, Business Today said in a report on Sunday.

Muthoot, AIIMS and Delhi Police did not immediately respond to calls and emails asking for more details.

At 0553 GMT, shares were down 3.7% at 1,242 rupees after falling as much as 5.03% in their biggest percentage drop since Jan. 13 earlier in the session.

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Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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