October 2, 2019 / 10:03 AM / 2 months ago

Yes Bank says forced stake sale behind stock plunge

FILE PHOTO: A security guard stands outside a Yes Bank branch at its headquarters in Mumbai, India January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File Photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian lender Yes Bank Ltd said on Wednesday a forced stake sale by a shareholder led to a steep fall in the company’s stock in the previous session.

The company’s shares plunged nearly 23% on Tuesday to its lowest close in over a decade, alongside sharp declines in other private-sector banks, as fraud allegations against a top mortgage lender and a prominent bank spooked investors.

Milestone Trusteeship Services Ltd, the trustee for an issue of bonds by Yes Bank promoter Morgan Credits Private Ltd, invoked and sold 100 million shares of the lender pledged by founder Rana Kapoor, according to a filing.

In a separate filing on Tuesday, the bank said Morgan Credits, Kapoor and Yes Capital trimmed their stake in the lender by 2.16%. (bit.ly/2ooaQpq)

Yes Bank also sought to allay concerns, saying that its financial and operational metrics remained “intrinsically sound”.

Its liquidity coverage ratio, a measure of highly liquid assets held by a financial institution, was in excess of 125% as on Sept. 30, the company said. Financial institutions are required to maintain a liquidity coverage ratio of 100%.

Debt woes at Indian shadow banks, including Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd, have sparked fresh concerns about the health of the country’s financial sector which came under immense stress after the shock default by a major infrastructure lender last year.

Yes Bank’s shares were the worst performers on both the Sensex and Nifty on Tuesday. The country’s stock market is closed on Wednesday for a holiday.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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