MUMBAI Shares in ICICI Bank fell 4 percent on Wednesday on concerns the bank's Russian assets may be vulnerable as firms there struggle to stay afloat.
ICICI shares were down 12.1 rupees at 284.30 rupees in a Mumbai market that was off 0.1 percent in the afternoon. The stock dropped to just above last October's low of 282.15 rupees, a break of which would take it to its lowest in nearly 4-½ years.
"The market is very concerned over the Russian exposure. Investors are expecting sharp write-downs as firms there are failing," said Amitabh Chakraborty, president for equities at Religare Securities.
The stock is down more than a third this year. It tumbled 21.2 percent in February and has seen more losses in March. Its market capitalisation has fallen to below that of smaller private-sector rival HDFC Bank.
"There are no losses in Russia," an ICICI spokesman said, but declined to put a value to the Russian assets.
Brokerage CLSA said in a recent note the Russian exposure under ICICI Bank Eurasia was $584 million, consisting largely of loans to customers and placements with banks.
The subsidiary was formed in 2005 after the Indian bank bought Russia's Investitsionno-Kreditny Bank.
The Russian operations do not have a meaningful deposit franchise and group companies fund 84 percent of the liabilities, CLSA said.
Last year, the management of NYSE-listed ICICI had to repeatedly assure investors and depositors after its exposure to collapsed Lehman Brothers triggered a slump in its share price.
Oil prices fall as Saudi Arabia dampens prospects of output freeze
SINGAPORE Oil prices fell on Friday after the Saudi energy minister tempered expectations of strong market intervention by producers during talks next month, and as analysts pointed to an ongoing supply overhang that was weighing on markets.
Under India's incoming RBI boss expect less chat, unified message
NEW DELHI/MUMBAI When Urjit Patel became head of the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy department three years ago, the to and fro of bankers and traders meeting officials for cosy, broad-ranging discussions abruptly ended.
GM mustard clears hurdle in India but more remain
NEW DELHI A government panel has cleared commercial use of what would be India's first genetically modified (GM) food crop, but politicians still have to give final approvals amid wide-spread public opposition.