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» » News18 Shorts

Sahara vs SEBI: Roy's wealth remains a mystery

Apr 12, 2013 03:38 PM IST Business Business
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Sahara boss Subrata Roy was quizzed by the SEBI officials. Roy has accused the SEBI of wasting time to verify Sahara's investors and said he was questioned only about his personal assets.

A belligerent Sahara chief Subrata Roy making a personal appearance before market regulator SEBI. SEBI was seeking details to scertain details of his personal assets so it could move ahead with sale of immovable property, the proceeds of which would be used to refund investors. Interestingly Roy claimed he told SEBI his assets were a mere 3 crore rs. He also accused SEBI of delaying the process of verifying his investor base.

Reacting to this Roy said, "I was asked whether I wanted to add anything to my declared assets and I told them that I had nothing to add. I also told them that my chief worry was that I should be allowed to pay back the investors but that I needed access to my assets for that. Instead of verifying my assets they are sitting on it, conducting a media trial and delaying the process. I have asked them to pay attention to these requests of mine and they have heard me out."

Starting with a capital of just 2,000 rupees in the late 1970s, Roy built Sahara into a business giant. His business was founded on chit funds or para-banking -taking deposits from small investors, sometimes as little as a rupee a day. Today Roy's empire spans real estate, finance, aviation, media, entertainment and retail. But estimates of his net worth vary widely from 1 lakh to 1 lakh 17,000 cr rupees.

Roy's public profile is mostly linked to sport; In 2011, Sahara paid $100 million for Vijay Mallya's Formula One racing team. A year earlier, it had paid a record price of $370 million for the Pune Warriors - still the highest paid for an Indian Premier League cricket franchise. Last year, Roy shelled out 575 million dollars for a majority stake in New York's iconic Plaza Hotel. In 2010, he paid $600 million for The Grosvenor House Hotel in Central London.

But with no manufacturing, no trading, no presence in the stock markets the source of Subrata Roy's wealth remains a mystery.

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