UPDATE: Goldman Sachs has said that it has no plans to sell its stake in National Stock Exchange, and has refuted the report by DNA Money. The spokesperson from Goldman Sachs also said that they are not in any discussion to sell their investment. (Reuters)


Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs is looking to exit its investment in National Stock Exchange (NSE), reports DNA Money. Goldman is reviewing its investments in India and does not plan to sell its investment at a loss, the report adds. Goldman Sachs, along with NYSE Group, General Atlantic Partners and SAIF Partners had picked up 5% stake each for $490 million in NSE. The report adds that the private equity investments made by Goldman's proprietary desk are on the block. Goldman Sachs' investment in Punjab-based food major Cremica was also earlier reported to be on the block.

The last reported deal for NSE was Hero Honda's and Srei Infrastructure Finances' stake buy from IFCI and Stock Holding Corporation of India (SHCIL) at Rs 3,500 per share. This deal pegged NSE's valuation at $4 billion. But this was in August last year, much before Indian stock market crashed and Lehman Brothers went bankrupt.

Goldman is said to be looking for a secondary exit to this investment as the IPO window has shut down. Goldman Sachs recently converted into a bank holding company and has been reporting losses for past some quarters. The firm maybe looking to sell assets in order to bring more liquidity. Goldman has continued to sell shares in the stocks markets. Goldman Sachs Investment Mauritius has sold shares worth Rs 132 crore across 21 companies in the past 5 months.

What will happen of Goldman's other private equity investments remains to be seen. Its  investments include Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M), TVS Logistics, National Stock Exchange and Bharti Infratel Ltd, SpiceJet, NDTV and Sigma Electric Manufacturing Corp.

Another Wall Street bank that has exited its investment is Merrill Lynch. The investment bank, which has been acquired Bank of America, sold off 5% stake in financial services firm Religare Enterprises for Rs 103.5 crore. Merrill Lynch sold the stake in the open market in December, soon after the one year lock-in period ended in November.

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