Sat. Sep 26th, 2020

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Axis Bank picks arrangers for $1.3 billion share sale

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Axis Bank Ltd., India’s third-largest private sector lender has picked advisers including BNP Paribas SA and Credit Suisse Group AG to manage its proposed share sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Mumbai-based lender has also chosen HSBC Holdings Plc and UBS Group AG for the offering, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is not public. Axis Bank plans to seek at least $1.3 billion from institutional investors, though it hasn’t finalized the fundraising target, the people said.

The sale could come as soon as the end of August and Axis Bank may add more advisers, they said.

The bank may raise as much as 150 billion rupees ($2 billion) through the sale of equities, depositary receipts or similar instruments, it said in a statement earlier this month.

The sale sees Axis Bank joining peers, including ICICI Bank Ltd. and Bank of Baroda, in seeking funding from investors to help withstand the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. S&P Global Ratings lowered Axis Bank’s credit rating to below investment grade in June, citing concerns that the Covid-19 pandemic would challenge the lender’s asset quality and profitability.

A representative for Axis Bank said the company continually evaluates capital raising initiatives, declining to comment on further details. Representatives for BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, HSBC and UBS declined to comment on the matter.

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