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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Delhi HC seeks Chinese banks’ view on Anil Ambani’s plea

The trio of Chinese lenders won a ruling in a London court in May after pursuing Ambani for more than $700 million in a dispute over defaulted loans.

By: Bloomberg | October 13, 2020 10:56:30 am
Anil Ambani ordered to pay $700 million in dispute with Chinese banksAnil Ambani. (File)

The Delhi High Court has reached out to a group of Chinese banks that are trying to recover money from Anil Ambani, in the latest twist in a personal bankruptcy case against the former billionaire.

The trio of Chinese lenders won a ruling in a London court in May after pursuing Ambani for more than $700 million in a dispute over defaulted loans. Ambani has requested that the banks be included in his challenge to a separate bankruptcy case against him in India, and the Delhi High Court is asking for their views on that. It did not identify the banks by name.

In the London case, the Chinese lenders argued that they provided funding to Ambani’s Reliance Communications Ltd. in 2012 with the condition that he personally guarantee the debt. They have yet to receive any funds despite winning that ruling.

The Delhi High Court also ordered a moratorium on recoveries from any sale of Ambani’s personal assets. State Bank of India, which had earlier this year filed a bankruptcy case against Ambani, had requested the moratorium, saying lenders might not get anything if Chinese banks execute the U.K. court’s orders.

A spokesperson for Anil Ambani said the moratorium will protect SBI’s interest and the court has issued notices to three Chinese Banks — Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Export Import Bank of China, and China Development Bank — since the Indian lender based its application on apprehension that the Chinese lenders may attempt to execute the U.K. Court’s order. Ambani will continue to take steps to defend himself in the matter, the spokesperson said.

The bankruptcy case in India against Ambani remains halted by a court order that also directed Ambani to not sell his assets.

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