CHENNAI: While big lenders to the debt-ridden Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL) are keeping their fingers crossed, a few banks that have relatively low exposure seem to be moving fast to secure their loans.
After Andhra Bank, which has a Rs 200-crore loan exposure to the media company, took possession of two properties of DCHL worth Rs 160 crore under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has initiated action to take over two properties. “We have already started the process and sought police protection to take possession of the assets,” said a senior official of the bank. Early last year, IOB issued a repossession notice to the company for the properties – a 37,000 sq. ft. piece of land with buildings on Sarojini Devi Road in Secunderabad and a 5,400 sq. ft. commercial building in the Sewa Corporate Park at Khasra in Gurgaon.
IOB’s exposure to DCHL is around Rs 72 crore, while the value of the property is estimated at about Rs 40 crore, according to bank officials. State Bank of Hyderabad, which extended an unsecured loan of Rs 50 crore, also filed a winding up petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking liquidation of DCHL. M Bhagavantha Rao, MD, said: “We are expecting favourable orders soon.” Overall, the company owes more than Rs 1,200 crore to seven public sector banks. But the estimated value of all collateral pledged by it with the banks would not cover even half the outstanding, say bank sources.