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NRIs drop plan to take over CSB

THRISSUR, JAN 15: The Bangkok-based Siam Vindhya Group (SVG), headed by Surchan Chansrichawla, has at last abandoned its bid to take over the private sector Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB) Limited here as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) did not permit transfer of the shares to the group.

The NRIs, S C Chawla, chairman, SVG, and ten others had purchased CSB's 19,59,016 equity shares of Rs 10 each at a premium of Rs 75 per share out of the bank's total shares of 54,14,051 constituting 36.18 per cent stake in February 1994. The shares were not yet transferred to the SVG group as the RBI did not permit it.

The takeover bid by the Chawlas ran into rough weather when the bishop of Thrissur Catholic Diocese, Joseph Kundukulam, opposed the transfer of the bank's shares to NRIs and threatened withdrawal of deposits of the Christian community and their institutions running into crores of rupees.

CSB, the third largest private sector bank in Kerala, was promoted by a group of Syrian Christians of Thrissur who played a significant role in its growth and development.

Meanwhile, a public limited company, Chartered Securities India Limited (CISL), was constituted in February 1994 by a section of the CSB's shareholders with the patronage of the bishop to thwart the take-over bids. The Chawlas and the Mumbai-based non-banking financing company (NBFC), Apple Group, had entered into an agreement for the latter purchasing 15 per cent of the shares acquired by the former.

Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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