Fraud-hit PNB looking to sell real estate assets

New Delhi: Punjab National Bank, which is embroiled in a Rs11,400 crore fraud, is considering monetizing its real estate assets, including a giant office space in New Delhi worth an estimated Rs5,000 crore, a bank official with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The bank was looking to expedite the process after it said this week it has been hit with a Rs11,400 crore fraud, the biggest bank scam in the country’s history.

The bank would look to sell assets through a tendering process. “We are in talks with interested parties,” said the person, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

On Friday, investigating agencies raided the offices of jewellery retailer Gitanjali Gems in a widening probe into the PNB fraud. The case is centred around diamond billionaire Nirav Modi who is accused of colluding with bank employees to fraudulently obtain letters of undertaking (LoUs) for raising loans from foreign branches of Indian banks.

Morgan Stanley estimated on Thursday if PNB had to assume all the liability from the fraud it would need Rs8,000 crore in additional capital, which at the stock’s current valuation would mean a 14% dilutionlivemint