ICICI Bank’s stock brokerage unit gets SEBI nod for IPO
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ICICI Bank Ltd, the country’s largest private sector bank by assets, has received approval from the markets regulator to list its stock brokerage unit, ICICI Securities Ltd.

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) green-lighted the initial public offering (IPO) on February 2, making ICICI Securities the third company after Barbeque Nation and Galaxy Surfactants to get the nod to go public in 2018. As many as 46 firms had received clearances for IPOs in 2017, according to the market regulator’s website.

The Mumbai-headquartered firm had filed its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with SEBI on November 7 last year.

ICICI Securities will become the fourth group company to float an IPO. ICICI Bank, which fully owns the stock brokerage and merchant banking arm, will sell a part of its stake through the offering.

ICICI Securities will join listed peers like Edelweiss Financial Services, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, IIFL Holdings Ltd, Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd and among half-a-dozen full-service brokerage firms.

ICICI Bank went public in 1998. Its life insurance arm, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co Ltd, went public in September 2016 via a Rs 6,056-crore ($904 million) public offering.

Incorporated in March 1995, ICICI Securities provides institutional and retail broking, merchant banking, and advisory services to corporates, financial institutions, high net-worth individuals, and retail investors in India.

Formerly known as ICICI Securities and Finance Company Ltd, the firm also operates ICICIdirect.com, an online broking platform for investing in equity, derivatives, currency futures, mutual funds, and other financial products. It provides research information, stock picks, and mutual fund recommendations.

The company operates out of 66 cities and towns in India besides having global offices in Singapore and New York, according to the company’s website.

In the financial year 2016-17, the brokerage and financial services firm facilitated 4 million retail customers by providing them with research, advisory and execution services for their investments, its annual report stated.

The corporate finance business strengthened its franchise in the equity capital markets business, with the firm leading the IPO markets. It managed 12 IPOs in 2016-17 with 57% market share. It also managed Galaxy Surfactants' recent IPO.

ICICI Securities reported consolidated net profit of Rs 339 crore for 2016-17 compared to Rs 239 crore in the previous year. The jump in profitability was driven by an increase in fee income, offset, in part, by an increase in staff cost and other administrative expenses, as per the company’s annual report.

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