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Speculation on L&T Finance, YES Bank deal

NBFC L&T Finance is learnt to be in discussion YES Bank for a possible acquisition of the latter’s shares. There is no specific confirmation or denial from both the entities so far. L&T Finance was an applicant for the banking license but could not obtain one and hence it is understood to be exploring ways other than a direct license in order to fulfil its ambition to become a full-fledged bank. According to reports the company is proposing to buy the promoters’ stake in YES Bank – held by two family groups, one led by CEO Rana Kapoor and the other by Kapoor’s sister-in-law Madhu Kapur. Kapoor told media persons that he and his managent team are committed to building the best quality bank of the world in India and maintained that he is not aware of any stake sale to L&T Finance. L&T Finance is worth around Rs 11,700 crore and YES Bank has a market capitalization of Rs 15,660 crore. Meanwhile, there are reports that senior board level officers of the two entities have informally met concerned officials in RBI to understand the regulator’s mind on this topic. In the past, RBI had stopped similar deals, which it feels are back-door entries into the world of banking.

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