StanChart eyes India listing in early 2010

StanChart eyes India listing in early 2010

Mumbai / London: Standard Chartered is in discussions with Indian regulators about a listing that could come by April depending on market conditions, the Asia-focused bank said.

It would be the first time an overseas company lists its parent group’s shares in India.

Chief executive Peter Sands has said a listing could occur as early as March-April, “subject to market conditions", a spokesman for the bank said.

Sands declined to comment on the size of the issue, and the spokesman said nothing had been decided. The Economic Times newspaper said the bank could raise about $500 million.

The Standard Chartered spokesman said the listing would not just be a capital raising exercise, but was also to build its brand and profile in a market where it has been present for 150 years, the spokesman said.

India contributed 19% to group profit in the first half of the year.

“We are keen to launch the IDR (Indian Depositary Receipts) and are working on the mechanics with the regulators. There are a few wrinkles left but we are largely there," Sands was quoted as saying by the Economic Times.

“If this were purely about raising capital, there are so many other ways to do it, as we have demonstrated in the past," Sands said. “For us, the IDR is much more about reinforcing our commitment to this market, than raising capital."

In October, a senior bank official said it received the Reserve Bank of India’s approval for the offering but was yet to file a prospectus with the market regulator.

Standard Chartered, whose shares are listed in London and Hong Kong, said last month it was also considering listing in China.

Rival HSBC is pushing to be the first overseas company to list in China and could raise between $3 billion and $7 billion in a listing next year.

By 2.40 pm Standard Chartered’s London shares were up 0.1% at £16.84, valuing the bank at $55 billion.