Sebi in fresh bid to locate Sahara investors

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has started fresh bids to locate investors in Sahara group firms' optionally fully convertible bonds (OFCBs) even as Sahara is frantically looking to raise Rs10,000 crore to bail out its jailed chief Subrata Roy.

The market regulator has asked bondholders of the two Sahara companies - Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHICL) - to submit claims by next month along with necessary proof of their investments.

Its latest effort to locate Sahara investors eligible for refunds, comes after a similar attempt by Sebi in August last year, wherein the eligible bondholders were asked to submit their refund claims to the regulator by 30 September.

Sebi had received 4,900 refund claims during that exercise. In its annual report for the year ended 31 March 2014, Sebi, however, had disclosed having received only 3,612 refund applications involving 13,948 deposit accounts.

Sahara had deposited Rs5,120 crore with Sebi in December 2012 towards the investor refunds as per Supreme Court orders Corp Ltd (SIRECL) against Rs24,000 crore it owes the investors.

''In the interest of those bondholders of Saharas' who could not submit their refund claims before the last date, this advertisement is being issued to enable those bondholders to submit their refund claims,'' SEBI said in its fresh public notice.

The Supreme Court had asked Sebi to facilitate refund to the bondholders of the two companies in the long-running dispute.

Sahara maintains that it has already repaid more than 93 per cent of the outstanding dues directly to the concerned bondholders and the remaining amount was just about Rs2,500 crore.