StanChart offering off to slow start

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The Independent Online

Standard Chartered's India share sale to raise up to $580m (£404m) got off to a slow start yesterday, with roughly 5 per cent subscribed on its first day, as a global stock sell-off kept a lid on demand.

The UK bank is selling 240 million shares through Indian Depository Receipts (IDR) in a move to raise its profile in its second-largest market.

Book-building for the first-ever sale of the IDRs closes on Friday. Six anchor investors have been allocated 36 million shares, and investors had bid for 11.2 million of the remaining 204 million shares on offer at the end of the first day. Most bids so far have been at the low end of the 100-115 rupee a share price band, stock exchange data showed.

However, demand for the Asia-focused bank's stock is expected to pick up as institutional investors in India often place their bids towards the close of the issue, a banker working on the deal said. Analysts said demand from retail investors, who will get a 5 per cent discount, was unlikely to be heavy given the meltdown in global stock markets.

Indian shares skidded 2.7 per cent to their lowest close in three and a half months yesterday as Europe's sovereign debt woes sparked a global sell-off.