New Delhi, Jun 22: Government is likely to sell a part of its stake in IDBI Bank as early as next month and potential buyers include the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), said people familiar with the matter.
Potential investors would include LIC, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. The sale would lower the government’s stake to below 50 per cent from about 81 per cent, they said.
The government has been trying since at least two years to sell IDBI Bank, which has the highest bad-loan ratio among state-run lenders in India. India Ratings & Research, the local unit of Fitch, downgraded IDBI Bank this month citing a sharp deterioration in asset quality.
Exact details of the potential sale haven’t been agreed yet and there’s no certainty the talks will lead to a transaction, the people said.
IDBI Bank’s shares were up 1.70 per cent on BSE as of 3 pm in Mumbai, set for the biggest gain in two weeks, and paring this year’s loss to 1.3 per cent. The 10-member Bankex Index was little changed.
M K Jain, who was brought in as chief executive officer of IDBI Bank last year to tackle the bad-loan problem, was recently named deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). B Sriram, managing director of State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s biggest lender, was given additional charge as head of IDBI Bank effective June 21, exchange filings show.
Non-performing assets at IDBI Bank stood at 28 per cent as of March 31 while profitability as measured by return on assets dropped to a negative 6.68 pe rcent, filings show.