Millennium Post

Sebi exempts Bandhan Bank from 1-year lock-in on promoter shares

Mumbai: Private sector lender Bandhan Bank Friday said it has got exemption from the market regulator, Sebi, on one year lock-in period for selling shares by promoters.

Last month, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) restrained the lender from opening new branches and also freezed remuneration of CEO & MD Chandra Shekhar Ghosh for not meeting the licensing conditions.

The RBI's restriction came as the bank was not able to bring down the shareholding of its non-operative financial holding company (NOFHC), Bandhan Financial Holdings (BFHL), to 40 per cent, from the current level of 82 per cent.

In a filing to exchanges Friday, it said, "the Bank has received an exemption from the Sebi with respect to lock-in of one year on the equity shares held by the promoter and eligibility condition of one year from listing."

The bank came out with an IPO in March of 2018, whereby all existing shareholders, including BFHL were under lock-in for a period of one year till March 2019 as per Sebi regulations.

Micro finance institution Bandhan was given conditional approval by the RBI for setting up universal bank in April 2014. The bank became operational in 2015.

Ghosh said the bank is committed to maintain the regulatory compliance and is in talks with the apex bank on the plans to reduce the shareholding.

"The three options available to us are offer for sale (OFS), where the NOFHC dilutes, do a merger and acquisition, and depending upon business requirement, we can look at primary or secondary fund raising. We are evaluating these options," Ghosh said.

In the quarter ended September 30, 2018, the bank reported a 47.4 per cent growth in its net profit at Rs 488 crore in the quarter ended September, aided by higher growth in interest income.

It's profit after tax stood at Rs 331 crore in the same quarter last year.

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