Tuesday, 27 July 2021 01:52 AM IST

PNB Housing Finance to remain under lens: Sebi

PNB Housing Finance’s troubles may not end with the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) verdict--assuming this goes in favour of the company—on the pricing of the ₹4,000 crore preferential allotment to the Carlyle Group. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) told the SAT on Friday that it intends to investigate the role of PNB Housing’s directors and the company management regardless of the SAT ruling.

Whether the deal goes through or not, the board approval in itself will have “legal consequences,” Sebi told the tribunal. The case will be heard again on Monday, when PNB Housing will get to counter Sebi’s arguments.

ET had reported on July 13 that Sebi sent a second letter to the board of directors of PNB Housing asking why action shouldn’t be taken against them for not following rules.

Alleged Disclosure Lapses

PNB Housing has maintained that all the rules governing preferential allotment have been followed and alleged that Sebi was trying to “threaten the board” through such communications. 

PNBHF to Remain Under Lens: Sebi

 Sebi raised alleged disclosure lapses on the part of PNB Housing in Friday’s hearing. It said PNB Housing was required to make a stock exchange announcement about any drop in the stake of parent Punjab National Bank (PNB), since it was “unpublished price sensitive information.” This wasn’t dome in a timely manner, Sebi told the SAT.

The regulator didn’t respond to ET’s queries.

“The board approval for the preferential allotment itself has legal consequences. There is no need for Sebi to wait until the final allotment to take action,” said a lawyer with direct knowledge of the matter. “The fact is the proposal is now an approved proposition and has triggered open offer. Hence, irrespective of the verdict on the matter, Sebi will examine the role of board members separately.”

PNB Housing said the matter was sub judice and it couldn’t comment. “As you are well aware that the issue of capital raise deal by the company is being heard by the honourable SAT. Since the matter is sub judice we are not in a position to offer any comment around the ongoing proceedings at SAT,” a spokesperson told ET in an email.

“We would like to reiterate that the company diligently follows all prescribed regulatory guidelines as laid by all regulators including Sebi,” the company said in the email. “Also, note that the company has provided all information and clarifications as and when desired by the regulatory authorities.”Source-PTI Inputs