Kotak Mahindra Chooses Banks for $1 Billion Share Sale

Kotak Mahindra Chooses Banks for $1 Billion Share Sale
Kotak Mahindra Chooses Banks for $1 Billion Share Sale

(Bloomberg) — Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. picked arrangers including Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley to work on a proposed $1 billion share sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

The fundraising could happen as soon as next month, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified as the matter is private. Kotak Mahindra in April announced a plan to sell as many as 65 million new shares. The Indian lender did not provide pricing details, though following the formula set out by regulators, the offering could be worth about $1 billion in total.

Shares in Kotak Mahindra fell 2.6% on Tuesday. They are down about 31% in the year to date, more than the Sensex index which has declined nearly 24% in the same period.

Kotak Mahindra Capital Company, the lender’s investment bank, will also participate in the issue, the people said. Details of the share sale, including timeline, could still change, while more advisers may be added, the people said. Representatives for Bank of America and Morgan Stanley declined to comment. A Kotak Mahindra representative didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The share sale plan comes after a resolution in January of an unusual legal feud with the Reserve Bank of India over the pace at which Uday Kotak, Kotak Mahindra’s founder and chief executive officer, should reduce his stake in the lender. The two sides agreed that Kotak should lower his holding to 26% from 30% by August. The April announcement did not specify the extent of the dilution of Kotak’s stake under the latest plan.

Banks in India, where one of the world’s strictest quarantines to stop the spread of coronavirus is taking place, have suffered a crisis of confidence. Yes Bank Ltd., at one point the country’s fourth-largest private bank, became a potential source of systemic risk after its bad-loan ratio spiked in late 2019, prompting the central bank to rescue it in March and raise capital from lenders including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank Ltd. and Axis Bank Ltd. Kotak Mahindra itself contributed 5 billion rupees ($66 million) to the effort.

Indian regulators are making it easier for companies to issue equity during the pandemic. Last month, the Securities and Exchange Board of India announced it would temporarily ease certain restrictions on rights issues by listed entities, including on fast-track rights issuances. Yes Bank said it has applied to regulators to fast-track a planned capital raising.

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