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PNB Gilts H1 net zooms 327%

October 17, 2003 18:21 IST

PNB Gilts on Friday reported a 327 per cent jump in net profits at Rs 86.32 crore (Rs 863.2 million) during the first half, and said it was scouting for strategic investors for selling 29 per cent stake of its parent Punjab National Bank.

"We have got permission from the government, Reserve Bank of India and PNB for bringing down the promoter holding to 49 per cent from the present 78 per cent. We are talking to a number of players," PNB Gilts managing director I D Singh told reporters in New Delhi.

PNB had offloaded 22 per cent stake after listing its arm two years ago. According to RBI norms, the promoter holdings should come down to 49 per cent.

The leading primary dealer in government papers is awaiting the Securities and Exchange Board of India norms on minimum public holding.

Although Singh declined to give names, PNB Gilts is believed to be in touch with some foreign banks and is likely to finalise a deal as soon as it gets the right price.

PNB Gilts share price is hovering at about Rs 40, which is almost same as that of its IPO price.

Apart from the strategic sale of equity, Singh said the company plans to raise Rs 250 crore (Rs 2.50 billion) through short-term debt this fiscal mainly through inter-corporate deposits (ICDs) at about 4.5-4.6 per cent.

The company's turnover surged to Rs 71,245 crore (Rs 712.45 billion) during the first half of this fiscal from Rs 26,000 crore (Rs 260 billion) in April-September 2002.

Total income of the company increased by 170 per cent to Rs 175 crore (Rs 1.75 billion) while operating profit was up by 313 per cent to Rs 137 crore (Rs 1.37 billion).

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