Finance Ministry may sell part of SUUTI holding in Axis Bank, ITC

New Delhi, Jan 14: The Finance Ministry may consider selling part of its stake in Axis Bank and ITC, held through SUUTI, in next few months, an official said.
As on September 30, 2018, Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India (SUUTI) held around 9.63 percent stake in Axis Bank, 7.97 percent in ITC and 1.80 percent in L&T.
While the government is waiting for L&T to launch a buyback offer to tender its shares; for holding in Axis Bank and ITC, it would consider off-market deals, an official said.
“We are open to selling stake in Axis Bank and ITC through bulk or block deals. It all depends on the valuation,” the official said.
Shares of Axis Bank settled at Rs 666.50, up 0.53 percent, while ITC was up 2.02 percent at Rs 295.40 at close of market hours on January 11. A bulk deal is a deal in which more than 0.5 percent of the total number of shares of a listed company are sold or bought by a single investor in the open market. In a block deal, two parties make a transaction involving shares worth at least Rs 5 crore. Block deal transactions are conducted in a separate trading window.
Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has already approached market regulator Sebi for launching a share buyback programme. The government would participate in the buyback programme, and is expecting to get around Rs 700 crore.
The government had sold 2.5 percent stake in L&T held through SUUTI in June 2017 through block deals in the market. In February 2017, the government had raised Rs 6,700 crore through sale of 2 percent stake held through SUUTI in tobacco-to-FMCG firm ITC.