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IPO-ready AU Small Finance Bank placed under RBI caution list

LiveMint logoLiveMint 27-06-2017 PTI

Mumbai: A day ahead of its IPO, AU Small Finance Bank has been placed under the caution list by the Reserve Bank to monitor the foreign shareholding of the company which is hovering around the permissible limit of 49%.

AU Small Finance Bank’s Rs1,912 crore initial public offering (IPO), at a price band of Rs355-358 per share, begins on Wednesday.

AU Small Finance Bank has already passed resolutions for increasing foreign institutional investors (FIIs) or foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) limit under portfolio investment scheme up to 49% of its paid up capital. FIIs, FPIs, global depository receipts, American Depository Receipts, FDI, NRIs, persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) are all the sources — who collectively are not allowed to hold over 49% in small finance banks in India.

The limit can be enhanced only after prior approval from the RBI.

In a notification today, RBI said the total foreign shareholding through all sources in the company has reached the trigger limit. “Hence purchases of equity shares of this company would be allowed only after obtaining prior approval of the Reserve Bank,” it said in a notification.

As per the extant rules, foreign shareholding in small finance banks is governed under foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for private sector banks. The present rule allows an aggregate foreign investment of up to 49% under automatic route and it can be enhanced up to 74% through an approval process.

The Jaipur-based AU Small Finance Bank was a non-banking finance company earlier — AU Financiers India. It was one amongst the 10 entities that were given SFB license by RBI in June 2015. It started operations as an SFB in April this year.

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