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HSBC Raises $430 Mln In Axis, Yes Bank Stake Sales

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British lender HSBC raised about $430 million after selling its holdings in Axis Bank and Yes Bank on Thursday, with both lenders fetching prices higher than term sheets amid a strong rally for the country's banking sector stocks this year.

The stake sale comes after Yes Bank, a private sector lender, gained 40 per cent this year as of Wednesday's close while Axis Bank shares have risen 24 per cent, outperforming a 10 per cent gain in the BSE Sensex.

"There is a lot of interest in banking stocks and Yes Bank's profile has a lot of appeal," said a dealer who declined to identified.

HSBC sold 16.8 million shares in Yes Bank at 328.65 rupees a piece, National Stock Exchange data showed, above the price range of 318.1-324.8 rupees per share given in the term sheet.

It sold about 19.6 million shares in Axis Bank at an average price of 971.12 per share, data from the Bombay Stock Exchange showed, higher than the price range of 950.9-970.9 rupees provided in a term sheet seen by Reuters.

Global institutional investors have been cashing in their holdings in Indian financial services firms.

This year, Citigroup sold its stake in top Indian mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp for $1.9 billion to strengthen its balance sheet. US private equity firm Warburg Pincus sold its holding in Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd for $274 million to raise a fund.

Goldman Sachs and HSBC were joint bookrunners for the sales.

A HSBC spokesman declined to comment on the deal.

(Reuters)