ICICI Bank scrip took a beating on Thursday after a mail posted on Google’s internet message group said a US brokerage firm has filed a $1-billion lawsuit against the bank.
The company’s shares plummeted 3.5 per cent on Bombay Stock Exchange after the mail posted by an investor identified as one Nirav Oza.
The mail was exposed as a fraud after Oza was tracked down, and he posted another mail to clarify that there was no lawsuit on.
The bank’s share prices recovered later in the day and closed with a gain of 0.8 per cent at Rs 884 for Thursday.
Oza was not the only person who set off the rumour. A broker, Hiten Sampat at Ohm Stock Broker, too said ICICI Bank was facing a lawsuit.
The bank has filed a complaint with the police and the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) is likely to take up the issue.
“There are baseless rumours circulating in the market through SMS and emails about a law suit filed against ICICI Bank in the US,” the ICICI Bank spokesperson said. “We categorically deny any such lawsuit and state that these are malicious and unfounded rumours. We have lodged a complaint with regulatory and law enforcement agencies.”
Oza and Sampat are both pleading not guilty. Oza claims his email account had been hacked, while Sampat stated that he had obtained the information from a blog posted by an individual based in Bangalore, according to a person close to the development.