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Axis Bank stake-sale fetches Govt ₹5,557 cr

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The Government is expected to garner over ₹5,500 crore through the sale of 4.2 crore shares or 9 per cent stake in the bank.
The Government is expected to garner over ₹5,500 crore through the sale of 4.2 crore shares or 9 per cent stake in the bank.

The sale of its residual stake in Axis Bank to a host of investors, including Life Insurance Corporation of India and Citigroup Global Markets Mauritius Pvt Ltd, helped the Government mop up ₹5,557 crore on Friday.

Bulk deals reported on the Bombay Stock Exchange show that New World Fund Inc and Goldman Sachs Singapore Pte also picked up shares put on the block.

The government stake in Axis Bank is held by the Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI), which was formed in 2003 after the restructuring of the erstwhile Unit Trust of India.

As of December 2013 SUUTI owned a 20.72 per cent in India’s third largest private sector lender.

Partial sale

On Friday, SUUTI offloaded about 4.22 crore shares of the 9.72 crore shares it holds in Axis Bank.

After the sale, its stake has come down to about 11.72 per cent.

LIC forked out about ₹1,122 crore at ₹1,313.25 per share to increase its stake in Axis Bank from 9.32 per cent as of December 2013 to 11.14 per cent.

After the Government, the state-owned life insurer is the biggest stakeholder in most public sector banks.

LIC is also categorised as a “promoter and promoter group” in many private sector banks.

Citigroup paid ₹503.18 crore to pick up 38.23 lakh shares at ₹1,316.13 a share while New World Fund Inc bought 26.88 lakh shares (at ₹1,315.12 per share) by paying ₹353.50 crore.

Goldman Sachs Singapore Pte bought 23.50 lakh shares (at ₹1,323.57 per share), stumping up ₹311 crore.

PSUs chip in

While LIC, Citigroup, New World Fund and Goldman Sachs together picked up 1.74 crore shares, the remaining 2.48 crore shares sold on Friday were reportedly picked up by other state-owned insurance companies and public sector banks.

Axis Bank shares rose 2.69 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Friday to close at ₹1,393.40.

(This article was published on March 21, 2014)
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