India regulator asks Sahara head to provide asset details

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 27, 2013 00:13 hrs

MUMBAI, March 26 (Reuters) - India's securities regulator asked the head of the Sahara conglomerate to appear before it on April 10 to provide details of his personal assets and the assets of two Sahara companies that sold bonds ruled to be illegal.

The order by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Tuesday against Subrata Roy, the two Sahara companies and three of their directors follows an order last month to freeze the assets and bank accounts of the companies as well as Roy's.

The regulator accuses Sahara, best known as the lead sponsor of the Indian cricket team and more recently as a buyer of overseas luxury hotels, of raising billions of dollars from small investors through an outlawed financial scheme and failing to comply with a court order to refund the money.

Unlisted Sahara has said it repaid most of the investors and that its total liability is less than the 51.2 billion rupees ($945 million) it had deposited with the regulator as the first repayment instalment following the top court's ruling that the bonds it issued were illegal.

A Sahara spokesman declined to comment on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, SEBI sought Supreme Court approval to arrest Roy and two Sahara directors. The court is expected to hold a hearing on that request in early April.

($1 = 54.1825 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Tony Munroe and Sumeet Chatterjee; editing by Jane Baird)

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