StanChart gets RBI nod for listing; but 'no plans yet'

Standard Chartered Plc, the London-listed banking conglomerate, has got approval from the Reserve Bank of India to be listed on the country's stock exchanges and sell Indian Depository Receipts, but it has no immediate plans to do so, its executive said  today.

"There is an approval which has come from the RBI," Standard Chartered's chief executive, India and South Asia, Neeraj Swaroop told reporters in Mumbai. "But there are certain conditions which we are in discussions about. We will engage with both RBI and SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) and we should announce it at the right time."

Swaroop added, "We have not filed any prospectus with SEBI. It's still too early to talk about the size of the IDR. I cannot give you a date (of filing the prospectus) because it will depend on a lot of factors, both external and internal."

According to The Economic Times, Standard Chartered, which gets 19 per cent of its group profits from India, is expected to take a call on whether to launch the offer this financial year or wait till 2010-11. The newspaper added that the bank plans to raise about $500 million (over Rs2,300 crore) from the issue.

The RBI had announced in July that IDRs, which allow foreign companies to raise capital in the Indian market, will have to be denominated in rupees, and issue proceeds will have to be repatriated from India immediately.

IDRs issued by a depository in India on behalf of a foreign company would not be redeemable to investors before the end of one year from the date of issue, the central bank had ordered.