Topworth Group – Banks approach courts to recover debt

MUMBAI/KOLKATA: Additions to India’s bloated bad-loans inventory are unlikely to cease soon, with about a dozen lenders now approaching debt-recovery courts to recover a part of their estimated credit exposure of Rs 17,300 crore to Mumbai-based Topworth.

Lenders led by the State Bank of India (SBI) and Punjab National Bank (PNBBSE -2.80 %) are filing cases in the Mumbai debt recovery tribunal (DRT) –– either individually or as a consortium –– against Top worth Urja & Metals, Phoenix Impex and Poscho Steels for cumulative defaults of about Rs 3,200 crore, two people familiar with the matter told ET. Bank of Baroda has already filed a case against Topworth Pipes & Tubes in Mumbai DRT to recover Rs 356 crore.

Lenders are seeking quick recovery of loans to Topworth to prevent further deterioration in asset-quality. “All our credit exposure to this group is now marked as non-performing assets. We are taking legal action. We have filed cases at DRT Mumbai, while some more cases will be filed in the next two weeks,” said a senior PNB official. PNB has Rs 900 crore of exposure to Topworth.

Source – ET

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