Franklin Templeton: ED, SEBI probing Mywish Marketplace links

PALAK SHAH Mumbai | Updated on March 04, 2021

$15-million loan to a start-up by a group company raises doubt

A $15-million loan by Franklin Templeton International Services India (FTISI) to a little-known start-up Mywish Marketplace is now under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Withdrawals under scanner

FTISI is an Indian incorporated company in the business of providing computer programming services and linked to the same group of companies that has FT Mutual Fund (FTMF). In fact, FTMF’s Sanjay Sapre was appointed on the board of Mywish Marketplace, the sources said. Market regulator SEBI is also probing the withdrawals of Mywish Marketplace from FTMF weeks before announcement of winding-up of six debt schemes, sources said. FTMF did not respond to queries sent by BusinessLine.

As per the sources, Mywish Marketplace claims to have raised money from (FTISI) but ED is also looking at whether it came from FTMF since top officials of the asset management company were also involved.

It has also come to light that high ranking FTMF officials and fund managers withdrew a huge sum of their investments before announcing the winding-up.

Post the registration of the case by ED, the SEBI too has issued another show-cause notice to FTMF management. The BusinessLine had reported in February that SEBI had issued show-cause notices for fraudulent trading practices to high ranking FTMF officials in December.

Forensic audit

More than ₹25,000-crore worth of cash belonging to over 3 lakh investors is now stuck with FTMF as the fund stopped redemptions abruptly. There was a forensic audit conducted by Mumbai-based audit firm Choksi and Choksi into the dealings of FTMF. While the findings have not been made public yet, reports revealed the auditor has alleged that information about the winding-up of the fund could have been shared by FTMF officials with investors close to them, which also included Mywish Marketwatch.

The company Mywish Marketwatch is into the business of lending for cars and other such areas. The company, which could not be reached via phone, says on its website that the Wishfin platform disburses more than $500 million in loans annually and has disbursed more than $3.5 billion dollars in loans through its platform.

It also runs mutual fund and insurance marketplace and claims to work with India’s top 50 banks, NBFCs and AMCs.

Published on March 04, 2021

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