* Selling shares in price band of 1,290-1,357 rupees/share
* Stake sale part of government's revenue raising drive
(Adds further details, background)
NEW DELHI/MUMBAI, March 20 The Indian government
has launched its sale offer on a 9 percent stake in Axis Bank
Ltd that could raise up to $935 million, two sources
with direct knowledge of the development said on Thursday.
The federal government holds in total 20.7 percent of Axis
Bank, India's third-largest private-sector bank by assets, via a
trust fund called Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of
The share sale is part of the government's campaign to raise
revenues and meet its revised fiscal deficit target
of 4.6 percent of gross domestic product in the financial year
ending on March 31.
The indicative price band for the Axis Bank share sale has
been set at roughly 1,290 rupees to 1,357 rupees a share, said
the sources, a discount of as much as 5 percent from its closing
price on Thursday of 1,357.35 rupees.
The sources declined to be named as they were not authorised
to speak to the media. India's finance ministry officials were
not immediately available for comments.
The Indian government, through the Special Undertaking of
Unit Trust of India, also has stakes in cigarette maker ITC Ltd
and engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro
Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and India's
JM Financial Ltd were appointed by the government in
January to manage the stake sale.
(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee and Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing
by Greg Mahlich)