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Catholic Syrian Bank mulls IPO again; Religare reaches out to KKR & others

13 July, 2017

Kerala-based Catholic Syrian Bank is reconsidering a plan to float an initial public offering, the Mint reported citing two people aware of the development it didn’t name.

The move comes after the bank’s talks with Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa-led Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd for a stake sale collapsed, the report said. It added that the bank is still exploring private equity options.

The bank had, earlier this year, got preliminary approval from the Reserve Bank of India to sell a 51% stake to Fairfax. Media reports said late last month that the talks fell through due to differences in valuation.

The private-sector lender had previously put off its listing plan in 2015 despite regulatory approval, citing market volatility.

In another development, financial services firm Religare Enterprises Ltd is scaling back its capital markets business, The Economic Times reported.

The report quoted a Religare spokesperson as saying that the company has decided to scale back its India institutional equities business operations. The company also reportedly asked its employees to leave.

VCCircle had reported in March that Religare Enterprises was looking to wind down the investment banking division of unit Religare Capital Markets Ltd as part of a business restructuring.

Religare Capital offers equity research and institutional equities services. It had a 20-member research team that covered 155 stocks, including 85 mid-cap stocks.

Separately, the Mint reported citing unidentified people that the promoters of Religare Enterprises and Fortis Healthcare, Malvinder and Shivinder Mohan Singh, have reached out to private equity firm KKR and financial services conglomerate Piramal Enterprises for funding to reduce its mounting debt.

Religare reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 123.35 crore on total revenue of Rs 3,841 crore for the year through March 2017. Its long-term debt was Rs 8,917 crore.

The financial services firm has sold two units this year. In February, it sold its wealth management unit to Anand Rathi Wealth Management.

In April, it sold its health insurance subsidiary to a group of investors led by private equity firm True North Managers LLP.

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Catholic Syrian Bank mulls IPO again; Religare reaches out to KKR & others

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