Indian businessman Mallya seeks to sell $2bn worth assets to repay creditors

Businessman Vijay Mallya, whose Kingfisher Airlines owe banks about 90 billion rupees, fled to Britain in March 2016 is fighting extradition after being tagged as a “fugitive economic offender.” (Reuters)
Updated 26 June 2018
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Indian businessman Mallya seeks to sell $2bn worth assets to repay creditors

MUMBAI: Businessman Vijay Mallya, who is being pursued by Indian authorities over unpaid loans tied to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, said on Tuesday he was trying to sell assets worth about 139 billion rupees ($2.04 billion) to repay creditors.
India has asked Britain to extradite Mallya to face trial after the liquor and aviation tycoon fled there in March 2016.
The businessman said in a statement he and his UB Holdings Ltd. filed an application on June 22 before a regional high court in India seeking permission to sell the assets that are under judicial supervision.
Indian government’s Enforcement Directorate, which fights financial crimes, also filed an application on the same day seeking to declare Mallya a “fugitive economic offender” and sought to confiscate 125 billion rupees worth of his assets.
Mallya, who denies the charges against him, said any objection by the Enforcement Directorate or Central Bureau of Investigation to his proposals to sell assets “will clearly demonstrate that there is an agenda against me beyond recovery of dues to Public Sector Banks.”
“All my efforts are either ignored or misunderstood,” Mallya said in a statement.
The Karnataka High Court in Southern India has yet to give a verdict on Mallya’s request to sell assets.
Kingfisher, which stopped flying in October 2012, owed banks about 90 billion rupees ($1.3 billion) when Mallya left India more than two years ago.
Since then, the Indian financial authorities have increased their crackdown on record levels of bad loans at lenders, especially at state-run banks which account for the bulk of the soured assets.
Lawyers for Mallya, who co-owns the Force India Formula One team, have opposed his extradition to India saying the case against him was politically motivated.
“I have become the ‘Poster Boy’ of bank default and a lightning rod of public anger,” Mallya said in his statement. India has dismissed charges that its pursuit of Mallya is driven by politics, with its lawyer at an extradition hearing at a London court accusing Mallya of never intending to repay the money borrowed by Kingfisher.


Huawei’s founder says world can’t live without it

Updated 8 sec ago
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Huawei’s founder says world can’t live without it

  • The media-shy Huawei founder has been forced to step into the limelight in recent months as the company has come under increasing pressure over espionage concerns
  • “There’s no way the US can crush us,” Ren Zhengfei said

BEIJING: The founder of Chinese telecom giant Huawei has hit back at US efforts to blacklist the company, saying defiantly that the world cannot do without Huawei and its “more advanced” technology.
“There’s no way the US can crush us,” Ren Zhengfei said in an interview with the BBC.
“The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced.”
Ren, 74, also denounced as “politically motivated” the December arrest of his daughter, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who is accused of violating US sanctions against Iran.
“We object to this,” he said.
“But now that we’ve gone down this path, we’ll let the courts settle it.”
The normally media-shy Huawei founder has been forced to step into the limelight in recent months as the company has come under increasing pressure over espionage concerns and the US-led campaign to persuade other countries to ban its technology.
Last year, security concerns prompted Australia to ban Huawei equipment from its future 5G network.
New Zealand has also blocked its largest telecom carrier from using Huawei technology for the next generation network, while the Czech Republic has reportedly excluded it from a 20-million-euro ($22 million) tender to build a tax portal.
US prosecutors also are charging Huawei with stealing trade secrets, saying it offered rewards to employees for stealing technology from other rivals.
Ren shrugged off the growing pressure.
“If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine,” he said. “America doesn’t represent the world.”
“Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always downsize and become smaller.”