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Indian central bank fines ICICI Bank for violating guidelines on securities sale

India's central bank fined ICICI Bank Ltd. 589 million rupees for its failure to comply with regulatory guidelines on the sale of securities from its held-to-maturity, or HTM, portfolio and disclosure requirements.

Securities acquired by banks with an intention to hold them till maturity are classified under the HTM category. In case the value of sales of securities from the HTM category exceeds 5% of such investments, the Reserve Bank of India's guidelines require banks to disclose the market value of such investments in their annual financial statements.

ICICI Bank said March 29 that it was fined by the Reserve Bank of India for continued sale of government securities classified under the HTM category for a few weeks during the quarter ended March 31, 2017. However, the bank explained that it sold bonds from HTM category due to "a genuine misunderstanding on the timing of the applicability of RBI's directions in this matter."

While the bank had disclosed in its fiscal 2017-2018 annual report that it sold more than 5% of investments categorized HTM, it did not make specified additional disclosure at that time. The bank added that it has been making specified disclosure since the quarter ended June 30, 2017.

As of March 28, US$1 was equivalent to 65.16 Indian rupees.