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RPT-India's top court gives Sahara more time to repay bond investors

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Wed, Dec 05, 2012 06:50 hrs

(Repeats to attach to alert)

NEW DELHI, Dec 5 (Reuters) - India's Supreme Court gave the Sahara conglomerate more time to repay billions of dollars it had raised from investors through bond sales that were later ruled to be illegal.

The court ordered Sahara to initially deposit 51.20 billion rupees ($937 million) with the capital markets regulator and pay the remainder in two instalments in January and February.

On Aug. 31, the court had asked Sahara to repay within 90 days as much as 240 billion rupees ($4.4 billion) collected from nearly 30 million mostly small investors, plus interest of 15 percent a year, to the capital markets regulator.

Sahara had also been ordered to submit detailed documents with the regulator if it had refunded any money collected through the so-called optionally fully convertible debentures to investors.

The regulator says Sahara has not complied with the top court's order, while Sahara says the regulator "deliberately refused" to accept documents and information submitted by it.

Sahara said in newspaper advertisements on Saturday it had "cleared" about 330 billion rupees raised in the outlawed bonds and had maximum outstanding liability of 51.20 billion rupees, which it was ready to deposit with the authorities.

India's capital markets regulator said in late October it had received complaints from investors that they were being forced by agents and officials of Sahara to switch the money held through the bonds to other investment products sold by the group. ($1 = 54.6400 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty, writing by Devidutta Tripathy, editing by Ross Colvin)



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