Stocks

Catholic Syrian Bank proposes public issue, stock options

Vinson Kurian L.N. Revathy Thiruvananthapuram/Coimbatore | Updated on September 04, 2013

Shareholders on Sept 23 will decide on key resolutions

The Catholic Syrian Bank is considering an initial public offer of shares.

The bank has not made a public issue of shares since inception, a notice to shareholders said.

SPECIAL RESOLUTIONS

A special resolution for the public float is sought to be moved at the 92nd annual general meeting to be held at Thrissur on September 23.

Another special resolution proposes the introduction of an employee stock options scheme.

This would enable the bank to motivate employees by rewarding their performance and also retain talents apart from developing a sense of ownership with the bank.

As for the public issue, the current proposal is to authorise the board to make further issue of capital to the extent of shares remaining in the bank’s authorised capital. The unissued shares add up to a little more than 5.8 crore of Rs 10 each.

In May 2012, this Kerala-headquartered mid-sized private lender had received the in-principle clearance for tapping the market.

In 1994, Bangkok-based non-resident businessman Surachan Chawla had bought 2.14 million shares in the bank, acquiring a 38 per cent stake.

The Archdiocese of Thrissur opposed Chawla’s acquisition as it felt this would lead to a takeover; it wanted to preserve the bank’s identity.

In 2007, the banking regulator asked Chawla to offload his stake and reduce it to 10 per cent, citing Foreign Exchange Regulations Act.

CHAWLA SELLS

Chawla sold five per cent to Federal Bank soon after, triggering speculation that a neighbourhood bank was eyeing a takeover. This prompted the Archdiocese to come out once again and voice opposition.

Chawla has since reduced his stake, although it is still above 10 per cent. Recently, the regulator allowed UAE-based Indian businessman M.A. Yusuf Ali to acquire 4.99 per cent stake from Chawla.

Others who have sizeable stakes are Edelweiss Capital (five per cent); Muthoot Pappachan Group (three per cent) and L&T (two per cent).

Mauritius-based private equity funds AIF Capital, Gartmore Private Equity and Siguler Guff and Co together hold 15 per cent stake.

>vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

>revathi.lakshminarasimhan@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 04, 2013

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