IDBI Capital Markets has initiated the process for a stake sale in National Stock Exchange on behalf of an unnamed client. IDBI Capital has invited bids from Indian residents, corporates and SEBI registered foreign institutional investors (FII).

According to an advertisement, that appeared in a financial daily today, the IDBI client is looking to sell around 3,84,798 shares in India's leading exchange in equities and derivatives.

The last date for submitting bids has been set at September 22.

The overall foreign shareholding allowed in NSE is up to 49%, with FDI of up to 26%. The FDI limit was reached when the consortium of investors picked up stakes in early 2007. The new foreign investors looking to invest in NSE would require an FII registration.

The first such FII to pick up stake was Norwest Venture Partners in June this year. The VC firm picked up 2.11% in NSE for Rs 250 crore ($53 million) from IL&FS Securities Services. The deal valued NSE at $2.5 billion, and the shares were bought at Rs 2,650 per share. At that price, the current shares put on block would be valued at nearly Rs 102 crore, accounting for a little less than 1% stake.

In July, Canada's Urbana Corp had announced its plans to pick up 5% stake in NSE for around $130 million, valuing the bourse a little higher at $2.55 billion. But this deal was later scrapped. Other overseas investors in NSE include NYSE and private equity firms like SAIF Partners, Goldman Sachs and General Atlantic.

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