MUMBAI: The chairman of ICICI Bank has denied discussing any succession plan for its executive management during his meetings with institutional investors a couple of days back.
In a response to a letter from the stock exchanges seeking clarification from ICICI Bank on news reports claiming the chairman had discussed the succession plan in his meeting with mutual funds, the bank stated, “The Chairman did not discuss any succession plan for executive management. In response to certain queries, he affirmed that the Bank had a succession planning process in place as a normal part of management of the Bank.”
The letter has explained that the bank seeks to maintain regular dialogue with its shareholders. “Given recent news reports and queries received from some shareholders, the Chairman of the Board met a few institutional investors individually wherein he reiterated the view of the Board as expressed in its statement of March 28, 2018,” the bank letter further clarified its stand.
Ever since the news of the ‘conflict of interest’ issue reared its ugly head involving Chanda Kochhar’s family and an ICICI loan to Videocon Group that has already turned ‘bad’, the mutual funds, which have huge exposure to the bank started getting their share of worry.
ICICI Bank, the second largest private sector bank in the country, may be the bank where the fund houses have the second largest exposure too. According to market sources, the fund houses have over Rs30,000 crore exposure to the bank that is deeply mired in the recent controversy.
Several media house ran stories that the non-executive chairman M K Sharma had meetings with mutual fund houses and other institutional investors in the wake of the heightened market speculations surrounding the bank MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar’s involvement in a shady loan deal with Videocon Group.
“There have been meetings between Sharma and the mutual fund houses to assuage their concerns. The issue of succession plan was also discussed in the event of Kochhar stepping down,” a bank source reported to have told PTI.