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ICICI Denies Rumors That Top Managers Sold Shares

Posted by Yogesh on Thursday, 18 September, 2008

Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) — ICICI Bank Ltd., India’s second largest, denied rumors that its top executives have been selling their holdings in the lender.

“These rumors are baseless and irresponsible, and no shares have been sold by members of the top management of the bank during the current year,” ICICI said in an e-mailed statement today from Mumbai.

ICICI fell 5.3 percent to 560.05 rupees, its lowest since July 17, at the close of trading in Mumbai. The bank, which earlier dropped as much 10.4 percent, has declined 55 percent this year.

The Mumbai-based bank fell 5.7 percent yesterday after it reported that its U.K. unit held 57 million euros ($81 million) in senior bonds of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which filed a petition for bankruptcy earlier this week, as of June 30.

The securities account for less than 1 percent of the unit’s assets, ICICI’s Joint Managing Director Chanda Kochhar said in the statement. The U.K. division, which has already set aside $12 million to cover losses on the Lehman investment, may increase provisions by $28 million, she said.

Rising credit spreads for global banks in the past two months are likely to have reduced the market value of bonds held by ICICI in the U.K., which may lead to provisions of about $200 million, Vishal Goyal, an analyst at Edelweiss Capital Ltd., said yesterday. Source Bloomberg.com

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