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Grapevine: Axis Bank to raise over $2 bn; Utkarsh Small Finance Bank plans IPO
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Axis Bank is planning to raise more than Rs 14,000 crore (about $2 billion at current exchange rate) in a share sale that could open for subscription in a week, two bankers aware of the development told The Economic Times.

The Mumbai-based lender has already sent feelers to leading foreign and domestic institutional investors, the report said.

“If the investor appetite is good, the bank could consider raising the entire approved capital of Rs 18,000 crore now,” said one of the bankers familiar with the matter.

The pricing of the proposed qualified institutional placement (QIP) could not be immediately ascertained. But analysts in the report said the bank would look to raise capital at Rs 650 a share. Bankers said existing institutional shareholders of the lender may also invest in the proposed QIP.

Meanwhile, RBL Bank-backed Utkarsh Small Finance Bank, which mainly gives microfinance loans in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, has begun work on its Rs 500 crore ($70 million at current exchange rate) initial public offering (IPO), three people aware of the matter told Mint.

Utkarsh counts CDC Group Plc., a development finance institution of the UK government, as its largest shareholder holding a 14% stake. Faering Capital and RBL Bank hold 9.9% stake each.

Other shareholders include World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), Norwegian Microfinance Initiative AS, Swiss development financier responsAbility Investments AG and Aavishkaar Goodwell, a microfinance institution-focused private equity firm.

According to norms, small finance banks should list the business within three years of the launch of their operations to bring down their promoter shareholding to at least 40% within five years of commencement of operations.

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