Shares of Sesa Sterlite today fell after the CBI registered a preliminary enquiry against Vedanta Group Chairman Anil Agarwal and unknown officials in connection with alleged irregularities in the disinvestment of Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL).

At close of trade today, Sesa Sterlite was down 2.31 per cent to Rs 198.90. In intra-day trade, the stock lost 3.24 per cent to Rs 197.

On the NSE, the scrip settled 2.31 per cent lower at Rs 198.95.

In terms of volumes, 7.70 lakh shares changed hands on the BSE, while over 41 lakh shares were traded at the NSE during the day.

The CBI believes that the loss, during the disinvestment in 2002, caused to the exchequer due to the alleged irregularities runs into hundreds of crores of rupees.

The preliminary enquiry is against Agarwal and unknown officials of HZL, Ministry of Disinvestment and Ministry of Mines, CBI sources had said yesterday.

It is alleged in the inquiry that Sterlite Industries, part of Vedanta Resources, had picked up stake in the public sector undertaking at an undervalued price resulting in the estimated losses running into hundreds of crore to the exchequer, CBI sources had said.

The company has been merged with another group Sesa Goa in August this year and renamed as Sesa Sterlite.

A statement issued by then Ministry of Disinvestment at the time of disinvestment, had said two price bids were received from Indo Gulf Corporation and Sterlite Opportunities and Ventures Limited (a special purpose vehicle of Sterlite) and both were above the reserve price of 32.15 per share (translating into Rs 353.17 crore) for 26 per cent stake.

(This article was published on December 24, 2013)
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