NEW DELHI/MUMBAI Jan 21 India has chosen
JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc and JM
Financial Ltd to help sell half of the government's
stake in Axis Bank Ltd valued at $925 million, said
three people involved in the process.
The sale is part of a search for funds to narrow the
government's fiscal deficit to 4.8 percent of gross
domestic product in the financial year ending March 2014 from
4.9 percent a year earlier.
The government aims to raise around $9 billion by selling
shares but has managed just 3 percent of that amount.
Half of its 20.7 percent stake in India's third-largest
private-sector bank by assets is likely to be auctioned by the
end of February, said the people, who declined to be identified
as they were not authorised to speak to the media.
At the bank's current market price, the stake on offer is
worth about 57 billion rupees ($925.47 million), the people
A spokesman for Citigroup in Mumbai declined to comment,
whereas JPMorgan and local brokerage JM Financial did not
immediately respond to requests for comment. The spokesman at
the finance ministry was not available for comment.
Slower-than-budgeted tax receipts and high public
expenditure have increased the government's reliance on selling
shares to narrow a budget shortfall in an economy growing at its
slowest pace in a decade.
On Monday, the government approved the auction of its
residual stake in Hindustan Zinc Ltd, controlled by
London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc. It has also lined
up a 10 percent stake sale in Indian Oil Corp.
The government, through the Special Undertaking of Unit
Trust of India, also owns shares of cigarette maker ITC Ltd
and engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro
The fiscal deficit by November had reached nearly 94 percent
of the government's full-year target, piling pressure on the
finance ministry to find alternative sources of revenue.
By fiscal-year end, it will receive a dividend of roughly $3
billion from state-run miner Coal India Ltd.