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Kerala Housing Finance case: Sebi extends time period to auction property due to lockdown

Earlier, the property was scheduled to be auctioned on June 4.

May 31, 2021 / 08:00 PM IST
SEBI headquarters | Representative image

SEBI headquarters | Representative image

New Delhi, May 31 Markets regulator Sebi on Monday said it has extended the time period to auction a property of Kerala Housing Finance to July 4, in the wake of the ongoing lockdown in Kerala. Earlier, the property was scheduled to be auctioned on June 4.

In addition, the regulator has extended the last date of submission of the bids to July 1, from June 2, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in a notice. The Kerala government on Saturday announced one more week extension of the state-wide lockdown till June 9, to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The property to be put on sale is a fully furnished flat situated at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. "Lockdown implemented in Kerala with effect from May 8, 2021 has affected the process of e-auction including site visits by bidders. In view of the above, it has been decided to extend the last date of submission of the bids and date of auction," the regulator said.

The auction is part of Sebi's effort to recover investors' money. Kerala Housing Finance had garnered funds from investors through issuance of securities without complying with the regulatory norms.

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Quikr Realty Ltd has been engaged by Sebi to assist it for sale of the property, through e-auction platform, C1 India. As per the revised schedule, intending bidders along with an amount equivalent to 10 per cent of the reserve price as earnest money deposit (EMD) for the sale of the property can submit their bids by July 1.

The online auction will take place on July 2, between 11 am and 12 pm. The intending bidders should make their own independent enquiries regarding the encumbrances, litigations, attachments, acquisition liabilities of the asset in respect of the property put on auction, prior to submitting their bid.

The successful bidder will have to deposit 25 per cent of the successful bid amount (inclusive of EMD amount), immediately after the close of the auction and the balance amount along with 1 per cent of highest bid amount as poundage fee within 15 days from close of auction. According to a Sebi order, Kerala Housing Finance had issued six series of secured redeemable Non-Convertible Debentures (NCDs) labelled A to F to 23,538 allottees and mobilised funds to the tune of Rs 158 crore during 1999-2014.

In addition, the company had allotted preference shares to a total of 1,071 investors and garnered Rs 19 crore during 2014-15 and 2015-16, as per the order. In August 2017, Sebi had directed Kerala Housing Finance and its promoters as well as directors to refund investors' money, along with interest, within 180 days.

The move came after the regulator received a reference from National Housing Bank stating that Kerala Housing Finance raised funds from the public without complying with the regulatory requirements.

first published: May 31, 2021 08:00 pm