Ratan Tata-backed RNT Associates under ED scanner for overseas investments

Ratan Tata

Business tycoon Ratan Tata’s investment arm RNT Associates, which focuses on early stage and startup investments, has been under Enforcement Directorate (ED) radar over its offshore investment portfolio.

The law and economic intelligence agency has sought information on overseas investment by RNT Associates directors, which count Ratan Tata, RK Krishna Kumar, Ramachandran Venkataramanan, Krishna Kumar.

Earlier this month, ED ordered to seek information such as the nature of activities of RNT Associates, bank account details, and copies of audited balance sheets. The order falls under provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

Importantly, the ED action comes after a month when a Mumbai-based whistleblower sent a letter to Reserve Bank of India and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office explaining financials and transactions of RNT Associates and its Singapore unit.

RNT spokesperson in a statement said that the queries from ED is regarding company’s investment portfolio and it’s following existing laws governing investments and cooperating with government agencies.

Ratan Tata manages his private funds through RNT Associates and RT Capital Advisors. Tata is reported to see overseas investment himself after he retired as the group’s chairman in 2013 after 50 years of leading iconic brand -Tata.

So far, the major investments by the Tata-backed firms include ride-hailing firm Ola, Zivame, NestAway, YourStory, MSwipe, CureFit, Paytm and Snapdeal.

In early June, it has also announced to invest $150 million in Ant Finance Services, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. This would second investment in the Chinese firm. In 2015, he had made a personal investment through RNT Associates in smartphone maker Xiaomi.

The development was reported by ET.

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