Govt to raise upto $935 mln in Axis Bank stake sale

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:30pm IST

An employee speaks on his mobile phone as he walks inside Axis Bank's corporate headquarters in Mumbai July 17, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/Files

An employee speaks on his mobile phone as he walks inside Axis Bank's corporate headquarters in Mumbai July 17, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Vivek Prakash/Files

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NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) - The government has launched its sale offer on a 9 percent stake in Axis Bank Ltd (AXBK.NS) that could raise up to $935 million, two sources with direct knowledge of the development said on Thursday.

The government holds in total 20.7 percent of Axis Bank, India's third-largest private-sector bank by assets, via a trust fund called Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI).

The share sale is part of the government's campaign to raise revenues and meet its revised fiscal deficit target of 4.6 percent of gross domestic product in the financial year ending on March 31.

The indicative price band for the Axis Bank share sale has been set at roughly 1,290 rupees to 1,357 rupees a share, said the sources, a discount of as much as 5 percent from its closing price on Thursday of 1,357.35 rupees.

The sources declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media. India's finance ministry officials were not immediately available for comments.

The government, through the Special Undertaking of Unit Trust of India, also has stakes in cigarette maker ITC Ltd (ITC.NS) and engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro Ltd (LART.NS).

Citigroup Inc (C.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and India's JM Financial Ltd were appointed by the government in January to manage the stake sale.

(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee and Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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