MCA OR­DERS PROBE INTO VAKRANGEE’S AC­COUNTS

In­ves­ti­ga­tion would also look into the res­ig­na­tion of Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers as the com­pany’s au­di­tor five months ago

Business Standard - - FRONT PAGE -

The cor­po­rate af­fairs min­istry has or­dered an in­spec­tion of Vakrangee’s books for three fi­nan­cial years, five months af­ter Price Water­house re­signed as the firm’s au­di­tor. The process will in­clude scru­tiny of the au­di­tor’s res­ig­na­tion, Vakrangee’s tax fil­ings in the past five years, the num­ber of out­lets across In­dia through which it pro­vides fi­nan­cial ser­vices, and its share­hold­ing struc­ture, the com­pany said in a fil­ing to the ex­change. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion comes af­ter Vakrangee shares crashed more than 93 per­cent this year as it is one of the sev­eral In­dian com­pa­nies that have faced au­di­tor res­ig­na­tions, lead­ing in­vestors to doubt their ac­count­ing and busi­ness prac­tices. Vakrangee said it would “fully co-op­er­ate” with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and try to com­plete the process at the ear­li­est.

The Min­istry of Cor­po­rate Af­fairs (MCA) has or­dered an in­spec­tion of Vakrangee’s books for three fi­nan­cial years, five months af­ter Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers quit as the firm’s au­di­tor.

The process will in­clude scru­tiny of the au­di­tor’s res­ig­na­tion, Vakrangee’s tax fil­ings in the past five years, the num­ber of out­lets across In­dia through which it pro­vides fi­nan­cial ser­vices, and its share­hold­ing struc­ture, the com­pany said in a fil­ing to the ex­change.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion comes af­ter Vakrangee shares crashed more than 93 per cent this year as it is one of the sev­eral com­pa­nies that have faced au­di­tor res­ig­na­tions, lead­ing in­vestors to doubt their ac­count­ing and busi­ness prac­tices.

Vakrangee said it will “fully co-op­er­ate” with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and try to com­plete the process at the ear­li­est. The state­ment didn’t give any de­tails on the time­line of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In Jan­uary, some me­dia re­ports said Vakrangee has come un­der Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change Board of In­dia (SEBI) lens for al­leged price and vol­ume ma­nip­u­la­tion of its own scrip at BSE and the Na­tional Stock Ex­change (NSE), send­ing the stock into a free fall.

In the past two years, the stock has had a good run and gained a huge 677 per cent - from ~65 on Jan­uary 23, 2015 to ~505 on Jan­uary 25, 2018. By com­par­i­son, the bench­mark Sen­sex gained 23 per cent dur­ing the same pe­riod.

Vakrangee is the unique tech­nol­ogy driven com­pany fo­cused on build­ing In­dia's largest net­work of last-mile re­tail out­lets to de­liver real-time bank­ing, in­sur­ance, e-gov­er­nance, e-com­merce and logistics ser­vices to the un­served & un­der­served ru­ral, semi-ur­ban and ur­ban mar­kets.

The com­pany is the coun­try's first-largest en­rol­ment agency em­pan­elled with the Unique Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Au­thor­ity of In­dia (UIDAI), per­mit­ting pan-In­dia en­rol­ment of Aad­haar Card, the 12digit in­di­vid­ual iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber is­sued by the Cen­tral gov­ern­ment.

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