Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Mar 24, 2005
Money & Banking
Centurion Bank raises $70 m via GDR route
Mumbai , March 23
CENTURION Bank raised $70 million (Rs 300 crore) through the issue of 14,583,300 Global Depository Receipts. Each GDR was priced at $4.80 and is equivalent to 15 common shares of the bank, said a press release from the bank. The GDRs will be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
According to the press release, the offering attracted strong demand from investors across Asia and Europe. Proceeds from the offering will be used to enhance Centurion Bank's capital adequacy ratios and increase its capacity to lend.
Citigroup was the sole bookrunner and lead manager to the GDR offering. The bank has given a greenshoe option to the bookrunner for up to $10 million.
The press release also quoted Mr Rana Talwar, Chairman, Centurion Bank, as saying, "We are extremely pleased by the response to our maiden international offering.
After this issue, Centurion Bank will take its place among the best capitalised banks in India, with the ability to capture the enormous growth opportunities that exist in the retail banking sector."
Centurion Bank is one of the new private sector banks in India, primarily focused on the retail sector.
At a recent press meet, prior to the GDR, Mr Anil Jaggia, Chief Co-ordinating Officer, had said that the capital adequacy ratio of Centurion Bank was at 10.2 per cent. Non-performing assets were down at 3.4 per cent, Mr Jaggia said.
As part of the retail sector, the bank plans to focus on small and medium enterprises and housing loans. As part of transaction banking, the bank plans to focus on cash management and treasury services, Mr Jaggia said.
With the new branch licences awarded by the Reserve Bank of India, the bank will have 75 fully-networked branches, 24 extension counters and 154 ATMs across the country.
The bank has been recently recapitalised by a group of international investors.
The major shareholders include Bank Muscat, Keppel Corporation, Asian Development Bank and Sabre Capital Worldwide.
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