Three Chinese banks are suing the brother of Asia’s richest man in a London court for failing to pay back $680 million in defaulted loans.
The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China agreed to loan $925.2 million to Anil Ambani’s firm Reliance Communications Ltd. in 2012 on condition that he provide a personal guarantee, ICBC’s lawyer Bankim Thanki told the court. Some repayments were made by the wireless carrier but in February 2017, it defaulted on its payment obligations.
The embattled Indian tycoon says that while he agreed to give a non-binding “personal comfort letter,” he never gave a guarantee tied to his personal assets – an “extraordinary potential personal liability.” He’s the brother of Mukesh Ambani, who’s worth $56 billion and is the wealthiest man in Asia and 14th richest in the world. Anil, on the other hand, has seen his personal fortune dwindle over recent years, losing his billionaire status.
ICBC “failed and continues to fail, to distinguish between Mr. Ambani on the one hand, and the company to whom the loans were being extended…on the other,” Ambani’s lawyer Robert Howe said in a court filing.
Anil Ambani was chairman of Reliance Communications, which fell into administration earlier this year. His wider telecommunications-to-infrastructure empire Reliance Group has continued to struggle under a mountain of debt. As of…