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ICICI Bank pares stake in stock broking unit ICICI Securities
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ICICI Bank, India’s second-largest private-sector bank, said Friday it has pared its stake in its broking and investment unit as part of steps to meet regulatory norms.

The bank sold 6.44 million shares, or a 2% stake, in ICICI Securities Ltd on the open market for Rs 310 crore, it said in a stock-exchange filing. It didn’t name the buyers.

According to a person aware of the development, IIFL Mutual Fund bought about 2 million shares at Rs 480 apiece.

This is the third unit in which ICICI Bank has sold a stake in as many months. The bank divested a small chunk of its holding in its life insurance arm in June and offloaded a 3.96% stake in its general insurance unit the same month.

Following this divestment, ICICI Bank’s stake in the broking unit will fall to 77.22% from 79.22%.

The bank said that the stake sale was intended to meet regulatory guidelines. According to the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s rules, promoters of a listed company must bring down their stake to 75% within three years from the date of listing the company to meet the minimum public shareholding requirement of 25%.

ICICI Securities was listed on the stock markets in April 2018. At the time, the bank diluted about 21% stake in the unit. This means ICICI Bank has time until March 2021 to reduce its stake in the unit below 75%.

ICICI Securities offers services like broking, distribution of financial products, wealth management and investment banking.

Shares of ICICI Securities gained 0.21% on Friday to end at Rs 492 apiece. ICICI Bank shares jumped 4.4% to Rs 409.75 in a Mumbai market that rose 0.9%.

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