Mumbai: Standard Chartered Plc. has hired bankers for a possible listing in India, three banking officials said on Thursday, another sign a dormant initial public offering or IPO market is reviving as share markets and investor optimism improve.
Standard Chartered, which had been mulling an India share sale for months, has hired UBS, Goldman Sachs, DSP Merrill Lynch, its Indian unit Standard Chartered STCI Capital Markets and a couple of other banks, said the officials, who declined to be named. One of the officials said the IPO could raise about $1 billion (Rs5,020 crore), but another said it was likely to be lower than that.
“It is exploratory. We are getting ready in a regulatory standpoint. There is no assurance we will go ahead with an issue,” one banker involved in the deal said.
Moving ahead: An IPO by Standard Chartered would be a big boost to an Indian market, which has been starved of listings. Madhu Kapparath / Mint
Standard Chartered, which is the largest foreign lender in India with 90 branches, will need the central bank’s approval for any share sale in the country, the officials said.
The bank, which gets two-thirds of its revenue from Asia, reported its 2008 Indian operating profit rose 37% to $943 million.
“India is a priority market and we weigh different options (for it). Nothing has been finalized,” a Standard Chartered spokesman in London said. The spokesman declined to comment on reports that banks had been appointed for a potential IPO.
An IPO by Standard Chartered, which in 2002 listed in Hong Kong, would be a big boost to an Indian market, which has been starved of listings. There has been one IPO worth just $4.9 million so far this year, ‘Thomson Reuters’ data showed.
Earlier this week, Adani Power filed a draft prospectus for an IPO that bankers expect will raise $400-500 million.
(Tony Munroe in Hong Kong and Victoria Howley in London contributed to this story.)