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Singapore agencies want near 40 pct of ICICI

Temasek and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp apply to raise their combined stake in ICICI Bank to nearly 40 per cent.

business Updated: Jun 21, 2007 10:22 IST

Singaporean state investment agencies Temasek and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC) have applied to raise their combined stake in ICICI Bank to nearly 40 per cent, Singapore's Straits Times reported on Thursday.

ICICI Bank is raising up to $4.9 billion in India's largest share sale.

Temasek has put in an order for shares worth about S$3.1 billion ($2.0 billion), the newspaper said, citing a report in the Economic Times. The report did not say how many shares GIC, which owns 2.24 per cent in ICICI, had sought to buy.

On Wednesday a source close to the deal told Reuters that Temasek had applied to buy new ICICI shares to raise its stake in the Indian lender from the current 7.37 per cent stake.

The two Singapore state investors have been lobbying India's government and regulators to lift an investment limit that prevents them from owning more than a combined 10 per cent in an Indian bank.

Media reports earlier this week quoted Indian officials as saying that the Reserve Bank of India would treat Temasek and the GIC as separate entities when investing in Indian banks.

Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs are lead managers for the global share offering.

ICICI has assets of more than $79 billion, putting it behind State Bank of India.