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City, JP Morgan to help govt sell Axis Bank stake

The government is understood to have engaged Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase & Co to help sell part of its stake in Axis Bank. JM Financial is also among the preferred investment banks that may be hired to manage the share sale. The government will sell about half of its 20.7% stake in the bank. The sale valued at around Rs 57 billion is part of India’s efforts to narrow its budget gap and prevent a sovereign credit-rating downgrade. The banks will get a fee of one rupee for managing the issue while the expenses will be paid by the government. The share sale will probably happen before mid-February. The government has been considering selling its stake in Axis Bank, which is held by the Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India, or SUUTI, a state-run asset manager that also owns stakes in Larsen & Toubro and ITC. The government plans to sell its Rs 171.9-billion rupee stake in Hindustan Zinc too.

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