Shares of Punjab National Bank extended the losses Thursday and plunged over 8% amid the heavy trading volumes with the bank losing over Rs 6,000 crore in the market capitalisation in the two-day decline. The stock of Punjab National Bank shed as much as 8.47% to the day’s low of Rs 133.45 on BSE while the stock crashed 8.57% to the day’s low of Rs 133.35. A heavy trading volume has been observed in the shares of Punjab National Bank, as at 10:00 am, more than 4.3 crore shares exchanged hands on both NSE and BSE with about 3.95 crore shares on NSE alone. The stock of PNB was the only notable laggard among all the constituents of Nifty PSU Bank index.
Following the massive slide in the shares of Punjab National Bank, the bank has lost about Rs 6,000 crore in the market capitalisation. As per today’s low price of Rs 133.45, PNB held a market capitalisation of Rs 32,357.76 crore, down by around Rs 6,866 crore from the Monday’s market capitalisation of Rs 39,223.75 crore. Earlier yesterday, the state-run Punjab National Bank detected a $1.77 billion (about Rs 11,400 crore) scam where billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking from a branch in Mumbai to secure overseas credit from other Indian lenders.
PNB has suspended 10 officers and referred the matter to CBI for investigation. According to a PTI report, Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said the finance ministry has taken proactive steps by asking the lender to report the matter to CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) so that action can be taken quickly. “The Bank has detected some fraudulent and unauthorised transactions (messages) in one of its branch in Mumbai for the benefit of a few select account holders with their apparent connivance. Based on these transactions other banks appear to have advanced money to these customers abroad,” Punjab National Bank said in an exchange filing.
Meanwhile today, Indian stock markets opened higher following yesterday’s gain on Wall Street with the S&P BSE Sensex opening up 51.62 points or 0.15% at 34,207.57 whereas NSE Nifty added 37 points or 0.35% to begin at 10,537.9. The key equity indices extended the gains with Sensex rising as much as 269.7 points to the day’s high of 34,425.65 in the morning trades.