United Spirits falls; banks sell to recover Kingfisher debt: reports

Tue Apr 2, 2013 1:19pm IST

A visitor walks past an alcohol stand during the TFWA (Tax Free World Association) exhibition in Cannes, southeastern France, October 19, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/Files

A visitor walks past an alcohol stand during the TFWA (Tax Free World Association) exhibition in Cannes, southeastern France, October 19, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Gaillard/Files

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Reuters Market Eye - Shares in United Spirits Ltd (UNSP.NS) fall more than 4 percent on reports that banks have started selling stocks in India's biggest alcohol maker to recover Kingfisher Airlines Ltd (KING.NS) debt, dealers say.

"We are focussing on selling the pledged shares as fast as possible. Some share sale has started," DNA newspaper quoted Shyamal Acharya, deputy managing director of the State Bank of India as saying.

A block sale of 30,134 shares also happened on the National Stock Exchange at 1,833.70 rupees at 10:56 a.m. India time.

Deutsche Bank in a report says lenders might be tempted to sell pledged United Spirits shares in the open market to optimise realisation, compared with the 1,440 rupees open offer price.

However, it says, "we believe that it is in everyone's interest, particularly the lenders who have UNSP shares as collateral, to see the deal through."

The report quotes United Breweries' 2012 annual report to say 20.5 million shares of United Spirits were pledged with banks. That constitutes 15.7 percent of total outstanding shares of the company.

A United Spirits spokesman did not have any immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.

Shares of United Spirits were down about 2.4 percent at 1,844 rupees at 1:17 p.m.

(Reporting by Abhishek Vishnoi)

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