The Finance Ministry has not received any communication with regard to reported merger of Kotak Mahindra Bank and Axis Bank, a senior official said. Mergers of private banks do not come to Finance Ministry, rather it is for the regulator to see, said another official. "We are not aware of any such plans. We have not received any expression of interest for Axis Bank by any company," the official said, when asked about reports on merger of Kotak Mahindra Bank with Axis Bank. Government indirectly holds stake in Axis Bank through public sector insurance companies and SUUTI.
The Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India (SUUTI) holds about 12 per cent stake in Axis Bank while LIC has 14.49 per cent holding in the bank.
Remaining promoter category stake is with four PSU general insurance companies and one state-owned re-insurer GIC Re.
Generally, the official said, the Finance Ministry dont comment on SUUTI stake sale but at the moment there is no immediate plan to sell.
Yesterday, Axis Bank also clarified that "in light of repeated reports appearing in some sections of the media, we reiterate that the said news (merger between Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank) is baseless and unsubstantiated."
In 2015, Kotak Mahindra Bank completed acquisition of mid-sized private sector ING Vysya Bank for about Rs 15,000 crore. The deal was touted as India?s biggest banking merger.
The merger catapulted the nations fourth largest private bank to nearly Rs 2 lakh crore balance-sheet size entity.