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MUMBAI : Private equity and venture capital funds, and other investors with large stakes in Indian companies are taking advantage of the resurgence in the stock markets by selling shares worth billions via secondary trades, following the return of foreign investors.

So far in August, investors have sold stocks worth more than $2 billion through block trades to exit their positions. The secondary share sales come on the back of a 18% rally in Indian stocks since they hit their 2022 lows in June.

American PE firm KKR sold its entire 27% holding in Max Healthcare for 9,185 crore. That was the largest-ever block trade deal by a PE firm on the Indian bourses. Buyers included foreign institutional investors (FIIs) such as the government of Singapore and funds managed by Capital Group and Ward Ferry Management. Another American PE major Blackstone on Thursday sold Sona BLW Precision Forging Ltd shares worth 4,044 crore in a block trade to buyers including Government of Singapore, SBI Mutual Fund.

Earlier, Uber sold its entire 7.78% stake in Zomato for 3,088 crore and Temasek sold Crompton Greaves Consumer Ltd’s shares worth 750 crore.

Experts said the rally in the stock markets in recent weeks and return of FIIs have given private equity firms a massive opportunity to liquidate large chunks of their holdings in Indian companies. “There are several companies from the initial public offering (IPO) batch of last year whose lock-in has expired and investors are looking at the current market as a great opportunity to sell their shares," said an investment banker, requesting anonymity.

The trend will continue as many companies, which went public in 2021 have either seen the 12-month lock-in for pre-IPO shareholders expire or are about to expire, and PE investors holding shares in these companies will seek to liquidate holdings, either partly or completely, he said.

“FIIs returning to markets is helping them liquidate large portions of holdings as seen in the case of KKR in Max Healthcare. With more lock-ins set to expire over the next few months, we are seeing more conversations with PE investors on block trades," he said.

FIIs bought Indian equities worth $4.6 billion in August, the highest such buying activity since December 2020.

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