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Banking & Finance Law
Banking & Finance
The Gupta-linked Bank of Baroda is to withdraw its operations from SA, Fin24 reports. The bank has notified the Office of the Registrar of Banks of its exit and was in discussions to ensure an orderly withdrawal so that no depositor was disadvantaged.
Capitec defended the robustness of its loan book yesterday, while US-based short seller Viceroy Research criticised the SA Reserve Bank for previously vouching for the bank, says a Fin24 report. Viceroy in late January published a report labelling Capitec a ‘loan shark’ with bad debt that should be placed under the curatorship of the Reserve Bank, but Capitec hit back again yesterday, referring to the Viceroy report as both ‘fundamentally flawed and misleading’.
Major Steinhoff shareholder and prominent businessman Christo Wiese has cleared the air with Parliament about his business affairs. In a letter to Yunus Carrim, chairperson of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Wiese clarified a statement he made during last week’s hearing on Steinhoff, which was organised by three parliamentary committees, notes a BusinessLIVE report.
Cash-strapped Prasa is investing R1bn with the bank that lent President Jacob Zuma R7.8m to ‘pay back the money’ in the Nkandla scandal, according to a Sunday Times report. This, it says, is despite the bank not meeting the state entity’s investment requirements and Prasa itself struggling financially.
Pressure is mounting on Viceroy Research, the short-selling outfit that caused a collapse in Capitec’s share price this week, after the Financial Services Board (FSB) confirmed it was investigating possible market abuse and breaches of the Financial Markets Act, says a BusinessLIVE report.
The Banking Association of SA (Basa) is concerned about the constitutionality of aspects of the proposed National Credit Amendment Bill, it told Parliament’s Trade and Industry Committee yesterday, says a Fin24 report. The association represents 35 local and international banks.
Capitec Bank is the latest target of Viceroy Research – the team that produced an explosive report detailing how Steinhoff cooked its books to hide losses and inflate earnings, says a BusinessLIVE report. Viceroy describes Capitec as a ‘loan shark with massively understated defaults masquerading as a community finance provider’ in a report it released yesterday.
After what have been described as ‘bargain basement’ sale prices for two significant assets owned by Steinhoff, the Public Servants Association (PSA) has announced it is pursuing legal action to recoup about $1.4bn lost in its accounting scandal. ‘Steinhoff is slowly becoming a shell. We want to try and recoup losses before it is too late,’ Tahir Maepa, deputy GM at the Public Servants Association, told Business Day.
A detailed account of how a last-minute, hand-written amendment to a contract forced the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to trade R256m for now-worthless shares in the Gupta family’s Oakbay Resources and Energy at inflated prices in 2014 is contained in a lengthy City Press report. It notes the controversial loan restructuring agreement the IDC signed with Oakbay in March 2014 has been made public in the state financier’s belated court application to reclaim the money – and outstanding capital on a 2010 loan – totalling R287.5m.
With the Constitutional Court having refused to hear the R60bn class action suit launched against the major lending banks, the case is heading to the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) early in the new year. The class action suit was filed in the Constitutional Court in August by more than 225 applicants whose homes were repossessed and sold at sheriffs’ auctions for a fraction of their market value.
Advocates for the Finance Minister, the Reserve Bank and Absa delivered blistering attacks on Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s Absa-Bankorp report in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) yesterday, raising serious doubt about her motives, notes a Business Day report.
International law firm Pomerantz has announced it is investigating claims that MultiChoice was involved in securities fraud or unlawful business practices relating to payments to Gupta-owned ANN7, according to a TimesLIVE report. Pomerantz said the claims were being investigated on behalf of investors‚ who could contact Robert Willoughby at the firm.
Eight Gupta-owned companies turned to the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) in a last-ditch attempt to prevent the State Bank of India from closing their accounts by the end of business yesterday. A Cape Times report says the ninth company – Sahara Computers – recently had its account closed by the bank, but it asked for the decision to be reversed. All nine companies, as in the earlier application against the Bank of Baroda, asked for a temporary reprieve pending an application to be heard later in which they challenge the validity of the notices given by the banks to terminate their relationship.
The cash-strapped, Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources & Energy’s woes have escalated with news that the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is suing it for its failure to meet a demand to pay R293m by yesterday. A BusinessLIVE report says the claim arises from the alleged unlawful manipulation of the Oakbay share price ahead of the company’s listing on the JSE in November 2014.
Standard Bank’s efforts to obtain records of the Competition Commission’s probe into collusion among currency traders at 18 banks were thwarted yesterday after the Competition Tribunal ruled it was not entitled to such records, notes a Business Day report. Given ‘the length of the record, the extent of the confidential information in it and the burden it would place on the commission in preparing it, a reasonable time for production would be at the same time as discovery is made in the (foreign exchange) case’, the tribunal said.