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Thursday, Nov 23, 2006

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UTI Bank: HSBC to let its holding remain for now

Our Bureau

Kolkata , Nov. 22

HSBC, a critical stakeholder in UTI Bank, will for now let its holding remain as it is but is fully aware that the advancing stock market offers it an opportunity to dispose of the stake at a good price.

The foreign bank, which on September 30 held 4.96 per cent in UTI Bank, is not considering a dilution at the moment, indicated Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, Group General Manager and Country Head, India, HSBC.

She, nevertheless, referred to the recent move to pare its earlier holding, which brought in a considerable amount of money for the bank.

The observation assumes significance in view of the UTI Bank stock's marked rise on the bourses. On Wednesday, it touched its 52-week high of Rs 514.80 on the NSE before closing at Rs 505.20. More than 7 lakh shares were traded on the exchange.

The UTI Bank stake, it may be mentioned, had materialised earlier with HSBC Asia Pacific Holdings (UK) Ltd's agreement to acquire close to 15 per cent in it from CDC Financial Services (Mauritius) and the South Asia Regional Fund.

Some of the other strategic stakeholders in UTI Bank (with over one per cent as on September 30, according to data released by NSE) are Barclays Capital (4.94 per cent), Citigroup Global Markets (3.73 per cent) and Emerging Markets Management LLC (2.2 per cent). Investors in this category hold over 27 per cent in the UTI-promoted bank. The total FII holding is more than 36 per cent.

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