HSBC likely to sell stakes in Axis and Yes banks
UK-based HSBC is likely to sell stake in private sector lenders Axis Bank and Yes Bank as part of its global strategy and is understood to have appointed merchant bankers for the deals. To be done through block deals by HSBC Securities, the two stake-sales could be worth about Rs 2,430 crore at the prevailing market price of the India-based lenders. HSBC has 4.75 per cent stake amounting to 1.9 crore shares in Axis Bank through HSBC IRIS Investments Mauritius Ltd, as per the latest BSE filings available.
It also has 4.76 per cent stake in Yes Bank and holds 1.67 crore shares in it through the Mauritius-based entity. The global banking major is in the process of offloading stake in Axis and Yes banks and has already appointed merchant bankers, according to sources. When contacted HSBC declined to comment on the issue. Shares of Axis Bank were trading at Rs 970.95, down 2.98 per cent, while those of Yes Bank were at Rs 328.75, down 1.76 per cent, onthe BSE.
In December 2003, HSBC had bought about 20 per cent in Axis Bank (then UTI Bank) from private equity major CDC. The British bank bought the stake in Yes Bank in 2008. In April, the Netherlands-based Rabobank sold about 3.4 per cent stake in Yes Bank for about Rs 453 crore. Rabobank sold 1.26 crore shares for Rs 357.03 a piece through an open market transactions. Of this, Bajaj Allianz Life insurance picked up 25.2 lakh shares, while Citigroup Global Markets Mauritius picked up 22 lakh shares at Rs 357 per unit, according to the BSE data.
Rabobank owned about 1.67 crore shares or 4.73 per cent stake in Yes Bank at the end of March 31, 2012. In 2010, Rabobank had sold about 11 per cent in Yes Bank and had thus reduced its stake in Yes Bank from around 15.9 per cent to 4.9 per cent. Rabobank has been reducing its stake in Yes Bank as it plans to enter banking space on its own in the country. Earlier this year, Citigroup sold its stake in housing finance major HDFC for nearly Rs 10,000 crore (USD 1.9 billion), while US private equity major Warburg Pincus offloaded its stake in Kotak Mahindra Bank for about Rs 1,350 crore (USD 274 million).