The Sensex is down nearly 2 per cent but ICICI Bank's share price spiked over 6 per cent to hit a high of Rs 320.90 this afternoon on news that Chanda Kochhar has stepped down from the post of MD and CEO. In a regulatory filing earlier today, the bank said that its board of directors had accepted her request for "early retirement" with immediate effect. The stock has jumped over 7 per cent to Rs 321.25 on the NSE.
The country's second-largest private lender has been embroiled in controversies ever since investor and whistleblower Arvind Gupta alleged a 'quid pro quo' in ICICI Bank's Rs 3,250 crore plus Rs 660 crore loans to Venugopal Dhoot-owned Videocon Industries. The stock had taken a big beating in the bargain. In late May, an enquiry into the matter was initiated under the retired Supreme Court judge BN Srikrishna, but the report is still awaited.
"The enquiry instituted by the board will remain unaffected by this and certain [post-retirement] benefits [for Kochhar] will be subject to the outcome of the enquiry," ICICI Bank informed the exchanges, adding that Kochhar will also relinquish office from the board of directors of the bank's subsidiaries. Her tenure would otherwise have ended on March 31, 2019. She has been on indefinite leave following the conflict-of-interest allegations.