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GIC-Backed Bandhan Bank's Indian IPO to Raise Up to $689 Million

Bandhan Bank Ltd., the first Indian microfinance lender to get a banking permit, has set the price range for its initial public offering, which could raise as much as 44.73 billion rupees ($689 million).

The lender, which is backed by Singapore sovereign fund GIC Pte, is offering shares at 370 rupees to 375 rupees apiece, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg. Pricing the offering at the top of the range would value the lender at 447.3 billion rupees. Bidding for the shares will open on March 15 and close four days later, the terms show.

Bandhan Bank, led by Chief Executive Officer Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, had a net interest margin of 10 percent for the six months ended Sept. 30, a preliminary prospectus shows. The margin is the highest among lenders in the South Asian nation, according to Bloomberg-compiled data. Its net bad-loan ratio was 0.76 percent at the end of the same six-month period.

Funds raised from the sale will be used to bolster the lender’s capital adequacy ratio, the terms show. The Kolkata-based bank was started as a microfinance firm in 2001 and converted to a bank in 2015 as India approved new licenses in an effort to tap rural savings and improve access to credit.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Axis Bank Ltd., JM Financial Ltd. and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. are book-running lead managers.

— With assistance by George Smith Alexander

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