India's Anil Ambani quits his companies’ boards after regulator order

The Securities and Exchange Board of India ordered him to resign for alleged diversion of funds

FILE PHOTO: Anil Ambani, chairman of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, addresses shareholders during the company's annual general meeting in Mumbai, India, September 18, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo

Anil Ambani, a former billionaire from India, resigned from the boards of Reliance Power and Reliance Infrastructure after an order from the country’s market regulator for alleged diversion of funds.

Mr Ambani resigned as the non-executive director in compliance with the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (Sebi) interim order, both the companies said in an exchange filing on Friday.

“The board looks forward to an early closure of the matter,” the companies said in two separate statements to the exchanges, adding that they look forward to inviting “Mr Ambani back to provide his vision and leadership to the company in the interest of all stakeholders”.

Sebi in February had issued a retraining order against Mr Ambani and other senior executives of a group entity, Reliance Home Finance, for allegedly diverting funds to other, related companies to repay debt.

Mr Ambani has been struggling with his businesses after a shadow lending crisis in India in 2018 dried up funds for local banks and financiers, forcing government to step in and rescue at least half a dozen lenders.

Among them, was Mr Ambani’s Reliance Capital, that was seized by the Reserve Bank of India last year after a series of repayment defaults.

Banks across India and China are trying to recover money from Mr Ambani.

State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, filed a personal bankruptcy case against Mr Ambani after battling him in court.

Updated: March 26, 2022, 8:31 AM