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Hindalco Declines on Coal Block Allocation Probe: Mumbai Mover

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Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Hindalco Industries Ltd. headed for its biggest decline in nearly three months in Mumbai as the nation’s top investigating agency registered a case related to allocation of coal blocks against the company and its billionaire owner Kumar Mangalam Birla.

India’s second-largest aluminum and copper producer fell as much as 5 percent, the most since July 26, to 105 rupees and traded at 108.40 rupees as of 10:21 a.m. in Mumbai. Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd., also owned by Birla, fell 3.3 percent to 1,222.95 rupees. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.3 percent.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, or CBI, is conducting searches in the cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar and has also registered a case against former coal secretary P.C. Parakh, CBI spokeswoman Kanchan Prasad said in a phone interview. The group hasn’t received notice of a case against Hindalco or its owner, spokeswoman Pragnya Ram said.

The CBI is probing companies after the nation’s auditor in August 2012 said the allocation of coal mines without an auction had cost the government 1.86 trillion rupees ($30.2 billion). The Comptroller & Auditor General of India said the award of the mines gave undue benefit to companies including Jindal Steel & Power Ltd., India’s third-largest steelmaker by value, and Tata Steel Ltd.

To contact the reporter on this story: Abhishek Shanker in Mumbai at ashanker1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net

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