India Seeks Bids to Sell Government Stakes in Private Firms

Updated on
  • Government holds the shares through a holding company, SUUTI
  • Three merchant bankers to be appointed for three-year period

India has invited bids from bankers for sale of its stakes in companies such as ITC Ltd., Larsen & Toubro Ltd. and Axis Bank Ltd., as Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks to boost revenues and shrink Asia’s widest budget deficit.

Holding company Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India will appoint as many as three merchant bankers to advise on transactions involving 51 companies over three years, it said on its website. The government hasn’t set a target for such sales.

Any proceeds in the year through March would help offset shortages in the government’s 565 billion rupee ($8.4 billion) target from stake sales in state-run companies. Failure to meet its divestment goal forces the administration to slash spending on roads, ports and railways to meet deficit targets.

SUUTI holds a 11.5 percent stake in Axis Bank, 11.1 percent in ITC and 8.15 percent in L&T. It has stakes in 51 corporates including listed and private companies, the document on the website said.

Axis Bank’s shares were trading 0.1 percent lower as of 10:46 a.m. in Mumbai, compared with a 0.4 percent drop in the benchmark equity index. L&T was down 1.3 percent and ITC was 1.5 percent lower.

— With assistance by Ameya Karve

(Updates markets in fifth paragraph.)
    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE