RBS buys 6.8% of SKS Microfinance for $10.8M
SKS Microfinance

Royal Bank of Scotland has picked 6.8 per cent stake in SKS Microfinance, country’s erstwhile largest microfinance firm in a deal worth Rs 58.7 crore ($10.8 million) through open market transaction on Tuesday.

SKS scrip shot up 4.97 per cent to close at Rs 122.4 a share on the BSE in a flat Mumbai market. The microlender’s scrip has more than doubled since hitting a trough in May this year.

RBS entity The Royal Bank of Scotland NV bought the shares at Rs 117.15 a piece, as per bulk deals transaction data on BSE.

The shares were acquired from Deutsche Securities Mauritius Ltd, an entity which does not figure among the significant shareholders of SKS as of June 30. This implies the firm could have sold the shares on behalf of another existing shareholder, though this could not be immediately ascertained.

Among the shareholders who held over 5 per cent in SKS as of June 30, 2012 include private equity firm Westbridge Capital, VC firm Sequoia Capital, ace Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, Sandstone Investment and Kismet Microfinance. Westbridge recently bought more shares of SKS, so it is unlikely to have called it quits from the firm.

SKS Microfinance, which went public a few years ago with great fanfare, got entangled in fresh regulatory norms in Andhra Pradesh, its home state and the region from which it derived bulk of its business. This was accompanied by exit of its founder Vikram Akula from the company and the firm lost its pole position as the country’s top microlender, a slot now occupied by Kolkata-based Bandhan.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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