By Ellen Milligan and Jonathan Browning

Three Chinese banks are suing the brother of Asia’s richest man in a London court for failing to pay succor $680 million in defaulted loans.

The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., China Growth Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China agreed to mortgage $925.2 million to Anil Ambani’s firm Reliance Communications Ltd. in 2012 on situation that he provide a interior most guarantee, ICBC’s lawyer Bankim Thanki urged the court. Some repayments were made by the wi-fi provider but in February 2017, it defaulted on its price duties.

The embattled Indian rich individual says that while he agreed to give a non-binding “interior most consolation letter,” he never gave a guarantee tied to his interior most assets – an “unheard of likely interior most legal responsibility.” He’s the brother of Mukesh Ambani, who’s price $56 billion and is the wealthiest man in Asia and 14th richest within the arena. Anil, on the totally different hand, has seen his interior most fortune dwindle over contemporary years, dropping his billionaire station.

ICBC “failed and continues to fail, to distinguish between Mr. Ambani on the one hand, and the firm to whom the loans were being prolonged…on the totally different,” Ambani’s lawyer Robert Howe acknowledged in a court filing.

Anil Ambani was as soon as chairman of Reliance Communications, which fell into administration earlier this twelve months. His wider telecommunications-to-infrastructure empire Reliance Community has persisted to fight below a mountain of debt. As of July, four of its greatest objects, except for the phone firm, had about 939 billion rupees ($13.2 billion) of debt, Bloomberg reported in September.

Anil Ambani was as soon as caught up in a the same case earlier this twelve months, when India’s Supreme Court docket threatened him with penal advanced after Reliance Communications did no longer pay to pay 5.5 billion rupees to Ericsson AB’s Indian unit. The judges gave him a month to gain the funds, and his brother, Mukesh, stepped in to form the cost.

The brothers’ relationship has been fraught since their father’s loss of life left within the succor of a mammoth empire that was as soon as split between them. While Mukesh’s oil and petrochemicals companies maintain flourished, Anil’s assets dwindled.

In accordance to a court filing, Anil went to Beijing within the winter of 2011 to negotiate the mortgage with ICBC’s extinct Chairman Jiang Jianqing straight away. The lenders sought a fraction pledge earlier than granting the loans, however the coolest dispute centers on whether Ambani or one in all his mates went on to provide a interior most guarantee as security.

Hasit Shukla, Reliance’s commercial and treasury head, signed a interior most guarantee on Ambani’s behalf by vitality of legal educated when the mortgage was as soon as dwelling up seven years within the past, Thanki acknowledged. But Ambani didn’t give Shukla the authority to signal for him, making the guarantee non-binding, his lawyer Robert Howe acknowledged in written submissions.

“Mr. Ambani’s dwelling is that the claim made by ICBC in the case of his alleged interior most guarantee for loans to RCOM is without benefit,” a spokesman for the rich individual acknowledged in an electronic mail.

Industrial & Commercial Bank is the only real real claimant within the London case, and is representing itself and the totally different two lenders.

“That is a straightforward debt claim to acquire successfully outstanding loans made to RCOM in beautiful religion, and secured by a interior most guarantee given by Mr. Anil Ambani,” the banks acknowledged in an announcement.

In Thursday’s court listening to, ICBC’s attorneys asked Steal David Waksman for an early ruling or a conditional disclose requiring Ambani to pay into court the unpaid sum and fervour below the power agreement. Ambani has declined to give any evidence of his wealth, they acknowledged.

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