SA’s Standard Bank denies re-opening Gupta accounts

A bank in South Africa has denied re-opening the accounts of companies belonging to the controversial Gupta brothers.

BBC

The companies could be liquidated if banking facilities cannot be found.

Earlier today it had looked as if the South African banking giant, Standard Bank, was throwing the Gupta-owned companies a lifeline by offering to re-open their accounts – accounts that have been closed since June 2016.

The firms in question have been in what’s called “business rescue” since mid-February.

Business rescue is usually entered into by financially distressed companies who are battling to pay their debts and face possible bankruptcy.

The difference with the eight Gupta-owned firms, which include two mines, is that while they are not technically insolvent, they lack access to banking facilities, as over the past two years or so the major South African banks turned their backs on them amid allegations of corruption – allegations the Gupta brothers have always strenuously denied.

In the last hours Standard Bank has denied re-opening the accounts, saying no such action was planned.

The firms, along with another eleven linked to the Guptas, employ about 7,000 people.

Without banking facilities, the business rescue practitioner has said that it’ll be “the end of the road” for the companies.

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