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DHFL: All You Need To Know About Cobrapost Allegation, DHFL's Response, Stock Prices

Terming it India’s biggest financial scam, the investigative news portal Cobrapost, on Tuesday, 29 January, claimed that the primary promoters of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL) have been found to have siphoned off more than Rs 31,000 crore of public funds. DHFL denies Cobrapost allegations, calls report mischief with mala fide intent. Yashwant Sinha demands probe into fund diversion by DHFL.

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What happened?

Cobrapost, an independent investigative news website, on Tuesday, 29 January, alleged that it has “unearthed a financial scam to the tune of more than Rs 31,000 crore” through which the “primary promoters of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL) and their associate companies have committed a systemic fraud” to siphon off public money.

According to a Cobrapost expose, Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL) through layers of shell companies allegedly siphoned off Rs 31,000 crore out of total bank loans of Rs 97,000 crore.

Read the Cobrapost article here 

What was DHFL's Response?

DHFL has termed the entire incident as mischievous misadventure by CobraPost. The company issued a press release and claimed that it was 'shocked and surprised' by the matter.

"DHFL today received an email at 8.44 a.m. in the morning, with a follow-up reminder one hour later, seeking answers to 64 questions from CobraPost, many of which were laced with political innuendos. We are shocked and surprised to receive this inquiry this morning, although CobraPost had announced its press conference last Friday, i.e. 25 January 2019, to disclose an alleged financial scam," the company said in a press release on Tuesday.

Calling allegations by CobraPost as an exercise to destabilise the company and market equilibrium, DHFL said, "We understand, for the last several weeks, an anonymous note has been making the rounds with similar defamatory and scurrilous allegations. We are also concerned about the timing and the holding of the press conference before the stock market close and days before the interim budget."

A full copy of the press release is available here

Who says what?

Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday demanded a probe into alleged diversion of Rs 31,000 crore of loans by DHFL that the company raised from state-owned banks, including SBI and Bank of Baroda, a charge the NBFC termed as mischievous with a mala fide intention.

"If the government fails to order an immediate investigation into the allegations into the aspects, including political funding, it would raise a question mark on the intent of the government. Therefore, I  demand investigation under court supervision by a special investigative team," Sinha said after the details of Cobrapost were revealed.

Effect on DHFL Share Prices

The DHFL share price opened 7.73% or 13.15 points lower at 156.90 and touched an intra day low of 153.50, down 9.73% on the BSE amid Rs 31,000-crore fraud allegations by Cobrapost.

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