GIC bets more on Bandhan Bank as Temasek joins in
Photo Credit: Reuters

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd has increased its stake in Bandhan Bank while its sister concern Temasek Holdings has also picked up a stake in the private-sector lender.

Chandrashekhar Ghosh-led Bandhan Bank said in a stock-exchange filing that its main shareholder, Bandhan Financial Holdings Ltd, sold a 20.95% stake in the bank to meet the Reserve Bank of India’s licensing guidelines.

The RBI norms required Bandhan Financial to reduce its stake in the microlender-turned-bank to 40% within three years of commencing business, to 20% in 10 years and to 15% in 15 years.

The bank now complies with the licensing conditions, it said.

Bandhan Financial sold about 337.37 million shares at a price of Rs 313-315 apiece for a total of Rs 10,563 crore ($1.4 billion) to seven investors, stock-exchange filings show.

Shares of Bandhan Bank were trading flat around Rs 309 apiece on Tuesday in a strong Mumbai market.

GIC, which held a 4.9% stake in Bandhan Bank at the end of June, picked up 40.07 million shares on Monday for Rs 1,254.6 ($167 million). This will take its stake in the bank closer to 7.4%.

Singapore state investor Temasek purchased shares worth Rs 769.60 crore ($102.5 million) while Credit Suisse picked up shares for Rs 798.41 crore and Societe Generale put in Rs 515.05 crore.

JP Morgan Chase & Co picked up shares worth Rs 391.92 crore and Morgan Stanley Asia bought shares for Rs 256 crore. Bandhan Employees Welfare Trust picked up shares worth Rs 293.86 crore.

Bandhan Bank went public in March 2018 after an initial public offering that was subscribed nearly 15 times.

In September 2018, the RBI had barred Bandhan Bank from opening new branches without its prior approval after the lender failed to bring down Bandhan Financial’s stake. The RBI lifted the curbs in February this year.

Last year, Bandhan Bank agreed to acquire Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd-controlled Gruh Finance Ltd to boost its housing loan business and help it reduce promoter holding. HDFC holds a 9.9% stake in Bandhan Bank.

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