Govt to sell 9 pc Axis Bank stake The government holds about 20.72 per cent of the shares of the third largest Indian private sector bank through the Specified Undertaking of UTI (SUUTI)

The Central Government will sell 4.2 crore shares or 9 per cent stake in Axis Bank on Friday. The merchant bankers for the deal have proposed the price band at Rs.1,290-1,357 per share for the sale. The closing price for the Axis Bank scrip on Thursday on the Bombay Stock Exchange was Rs.1,356.85 or 2.1 per cent lower than the previous day.

“We will sell stake in Axis Bank tomorrow [Friday] through block trades on exchanges,” Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram said on Thursday.

The government holds about 20.72 per cent of the shares of the third largest Indian private sector bank through the Specified Undertaking of UTI (SUUTI), an offshoot trust fund of the erstwhile UTI that was formed in 2003. The SUUTI also holds stakes in other private companies. It holds 11.32 per cent stake in tobacco-to-hotels giant ITC and 8.2 per cent in the engineering company L&T. However, the government is unlikely to sell its stake in other SUUTI companies this financial year.

The Axis Bank stake sale is expected to garner up to Rs.5,700 crore. Joint Secretary in the Department of Disinvestment Alok Tandon had said on March 14 that the government expected to raise Rs.3000-4000 crore from the stake sale. The merchant bankers for the deal are: JP Morgan, Citigroup Global Markets and JM Financial.

The other promoters of the bank are: Life Insurance Corporation, General Insurance Corporation, New India Assurance and National Insurance Company.

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