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SBI's Rs 20,000-cr rights issue by end FY11

PTI     October 15, 2010
Public-sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) on Friday said it expects to launch its Rs 20,000-crore rights issue before the culmination of this financial year, as only a few loopholes need to be ironed out with the government.

"We will be raising up to Rs 20,000 crore through the rights issue. The map has to be put in place properly...We have had a discussion with the government on it," Chairman O P Bhatt told reporters here.

Bhatt said he was hopeful of a final decision on the issue by December-end and the issue to hit the market before the culmination of the current financial year.

"We have had a discussion and have also sent a paper from our side," he said, adding now only a few points need to be fine-tuned.

SBI Deputy Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer S S Ranjan said the government, which presently holds over 59 per cent stake in the bank, would not be diluting its holding.

"The Government of India has been subscribing to the capital of various public-sector banks, including those which are adequately capitalised. The capital requirement (from the Government's side) for SBI would definitely be a bit high," Bhatt said.

SBI had last raised Rs 16,736-crore through a rights issue in 2008, which had seen its capital adequacy ratio rising to above 14 per cent.

Meanwhile, replying to a query on the high inflows from foreign institutional investors in the recent past and concerns thereof, Bhatt said the capital flows will be high for some time and the market will be in a position to absorb them for the next 2-3 months.

"There are things like the disinvestment programme, the Coal India IPO due to which the money will keep coming. The market will absorb for 2-3 months, but I don't know what happens next," he said.

To a specific question on the bank's participation in the disinvestment programme, Bhatt said through its subsidiary SBI Caps does participate in offerings, but that depends on a case-to-case basis and on the availability of funds at a particular point of time.

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