Govt Likely to Invite EoIs in July-End After Discussions with RBI

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IDBI Bank Privatisation: The central government has been mulling the privatisation of IDBI Bank for quite some time now, and has kept the lender in its list of companies for divestment. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) is currently holding roadshows in the US for the sale of the bank, which is set to be another important landmark in reaching India’s divestment targets. The actual quantum of government stake sale at the IDBI Bank will be known once the roadshow is over, the Centre had said earlier in April.

Currently, the government is in the process of holding roadshows in the US, an official was quoted by PTI as saying, on June 10, Friday. After a few more such investor meets, it will finalise the contours of the IDBI Bank stake sale, the official added.

“We may need one more round of discussion with RBI on IDBI strategic sale. The expression of interest (EoI) may be invited by July-end,” the official said. It was earlier confirmed by sources that the government may invite EoIs in May for selling its stake in IDBI Bank and expects to complete the disinvestment process in the current financial year 2022-23.

The official said while the quantum of stake dilution of both the government and LIC is yet to be decided, the management control in IDBI Bank will be transferred in the strategic sale.

DIPAM secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey had in April also said that the EoIs will be invited once the meetings with investors were over. “The quantum of exit will be known post roadshow and then the structure of Expression of Interest will be finalised. One thing is very sure that management control will be passed on. Currently, it is with LIC. But, management control at what level of equity will have to be decided when we have decided the structure of EoI,” Pandey had said in Delhi during an event on LIC IPO roadshow.

The government holds 45.48 per cent stake in the bank, while LIC owns 49.24 per cent. Necessary amendments to the IDBI Bank Act have already been made through the Finance Act 2021, and transaction advisors have been appointed.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had given in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment and transfer of management control in IDBI Bank in May last year. “CCEA has given an in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment along with transfer of management control in IDBI Bank Ltd”, a government had statement said.

In January 2019, IDBI Bank became a subsidiary of LIC, following the acquisition of additional 8,27,590,885 equity shares. In December 2020, IDBI Bank was classified as an associate company due to the reduction of LIC shareholding to 49.24 per cent. The IDBI Bank privatisation efforts come during a time when the government has put off similar plans for Bharat Petroleum.

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