Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Indian probe team seeks StanChart clarification over Aircel-Maxis deal

KUALA LUMPUR: India's Central Bureau of Investigation is seeking the assistance for Standard Chartered plc over its advisory role in the Aircel Ltd, Maxis Communications Bhd deal in 2006.

News reports from New Delhi said on Wednesday, July 13 that the CBI was investigating allegations that a former Indian telecommunications minister had forced the founders of mobile-phone operator Aircel to sell out to Maxis.

According to Dow Jones, the bank had advised Maxis in the deal which saw the Malaysian telco acquiring a 74% stake in Aircel.

The news wire said a StanChart spokesman said in an emailed statement that the 'CBI has asked for some information related to the Aircel-Maxis transaction, and we are fully cooperating with them".

The CBI's move to seek details of the deal is part of a wider investigation into all allocations of radio bandwidth since 2001.

The allegations were whether former Telecommunications Minister Dayanidhi Maran had a role in forcing the owners of Aircel to sell out to Maxis.

Maran, who was telecom minister between February 2004 and May 2007, resigned last week as federal textiles minister after the CBI told the Supreme Court about Maran's possible role in the Maxis-Aircel deal in 2006.

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