Free Press Journal

BoB gets approval to leave S Africa over Gupta links


Johannesburg : A top South African court has allowed Bank of Baroda to close its operations in the country next month, over its links with the controversial India-born Gupta brothers who are facing massive corruption allegations.

Judge Ntendeya Mavundla of the Pretoria High Court on Monday dismissed with costs an application by 20 companies linked to the Guptas seeking to stop the Bank of Baroda (BoB) from closing all its accounts and leaving South Africa. The Indian state-owned bank announced last month that it had decided to close down operations in South Africa in line with a revision of its global strategy.

BoB was the only bank that had been working with the Gupta companies after all South African banks severed ties with them following corruption allegations against Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta involving billions of rands.

Malaysia JV to be put on block

Meanwhile, India International Bank (Malaysia) Berhad, a joint venture of Bank of Baroda, Indian Overseas Bank and Andhra Bank, may soon be put on the block, two sources close to the development said.

The sale will be initiated after discussions with local regulator, they said. Bank of Baroda, which plans to raise its stake in the JV to 51 per cent from 40 per cent at present, will lead the negotiations. Indian Overseas Bank and Andhra Bank hold 35 per cent and 25 per cent stake, respectively, in the joint venture.