Kotak Vs RBI: Bombay high court rejects lender’s plea in a case pertaining to stake dilution

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The Bombay high court once again refused to grant any kind of interim relief to Kotak Mahindra Bank is its on going tussle with banking regulator-RBI over a regulatory diktat to reduce promoter’s shareholding in the fourth largest private sector lender.

The Bombay High Court division bench of justices AS Oka and MS Sanklecha posted the matter for next hearing scheduled on 1st April, rejecting the lenders plea stating that the mater is not as simple as the petitioning lender is making it out to be.

Kotak Mahinda’s counsel, Harish Salve sought an interim protection from RBI’s regulatory order and proposed for capping the voting rights of the promoters. “We need interim protection. The RBI’s concern is with regard to concentration of control of power. We will give assurance that till May 2020 promoters shall not vote in excess of 20%,” Salve appealed in the court.

After court turned down the appeal, Salve said that the court can’t direct the lender’s promoters to sell their shares.
Earlier in December 2018, Kotak Mahindra sought an interim relief from court, seeking a stay on December 31 deadline but this was rejected by the court.

In August 2018 the promoter group of Kotak Mahindra tried to lower their holding by complex perpetual non-cumulative preference shares sale through with its stake would have come down to 19.70% from earlier 30% but RBI rejected this stake dilution method, against which the private lender reached to the court.

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