Millennium Post

Yes Bank independent director Agarwal quits

Mumbai: Uttam Prakash Agarwal, an independent director of Yes Bank Ltd, on Friday resigned from the board and stepped down as head of its audit committee citing major corporate governance concerns, but the lender said he was facing a 'fit and proper' status review as directed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The capital-starved bank also reported setbacks in its $2-billion fundraising plans.

The lender also said its board has also approved a fresh round of capital raising of Rs 10,000 crore, for which shareholders' nod will be sought soon, the troubled private sector lender told stock exchanges on Friday.

Canadian investor Erwin Singh Braich's $1.2 billion offer will not be pursued further, it said and hinted that a $500-million offer from Citax Holdings and Citax Investment Group, which was being favourably considered, is also facing headwinds. The bank, which was waiting for regulatory nods as Citax's offer entailed over 10 per cent ownership, has not yet been able to get a clearance on the "conditions precedent". Without specifying timelines, it said the Citax offer will be taken up "during the next round".

The troubled bank has been forced to shrink its book due to capital paucity and was hoping to close the fundraising by December.

Need for capital has been necessitated as under new Chief Executive Officer Ravneet Gill, the lender has had to provide for sour loan bets taken under his predecessor Rana Kapoor whose term was cut short by the RBI last year over concerns on corporate governance. The central bank has also appointed former deputy governor R Gandhi to the board.

Meanwhile, Uttam Agarwal, a chartered accountant who had joined the board amid an upheaval in November, has quit citing "deteriorating standards of the corporate governance" under Gill.

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