New Delhi: The Finance Ministry may consider selling part of its stake in Axis Bank and ITC, held through SUUTI, in next few months, an official said.

As on September 30, 2018, Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India (SUUTI) held around 9.63% stake in Axis Bank, 7.97% in ITC and 1.80% in L&T.

While the government is waiting for L&T to launch a buyback offer to tender its shares; for holding in Axis Bank and ITC, it would consider off-market deals, an official said.

“We are open to selling stake in Axis Bank and ITC through bulk or block deals. It all depends on the valuation," the official told PTI.

Shares of Axis Bank settled at 666.50, up 0.53%, while ITC was up 2.02% at 295.40 at close of market hours on 11 January.

A bulk deal is a deal in which more than 0.5% of the total number of shares of a listed company are sold or bought by a single investor in the open market. In a block deal, two parties make a transaction involving shares worth at least 5 crore. Block deal transactions are conducted in a separate trading window.

Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has already approached market regulator Sebi for launching a share buyback programme. The government would participate in the buyback programme, and is expecting to get around 700 crore.

The government had sold 2.5% stake in L&T held through SUUTI in June 2017 through block deals in the market.

In February 2017, the government had raised 6,700 crore through sale of 2% stake held through SUUTI in tobacco-to-FMCG firm ITC.

In November 2016 it sold 1.63% in L&T, while in March 2014 it had sold 9% stake in Axis Bank to raise 5,500 crore through block deals.

SUUTI holdings in ITC, Axis Bank and L&T are also part of Bharat 22 exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The government, which has set a divestment target of 80,000 crore for 2018-19, has so far raised over 34,000 crore.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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