The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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UTI pares stake in LIC Housing Finance

Calcutta, July 18: Unit Trust of India (UTI) has pared its holding in LIC Housing Finance — the country’s second largest home loans company — by 2.85 per cent. The Trust sold 21.35 lakh shares of LIC Housing Finance in the market recently.

Though senior officials of UTI confirmed the sale, they scotched rumours that the Trust was looking to offload its entire holding in the company. UTI held 11.5 per cent in LIC Housing Finance as of June 30. It now holds around 8.55 per cent stake in the company, says a LIC Housing Finance despatch to the bourses.

UTI chairman M. Damodaran said: “Some of our fund managers must have found the price attractive — so they sold a part of our holding. But there are no plans to offload our entire stake in the company.”

Until it offloaded the shares in the market recently, UTI was the second largest stakeholder in the company after Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), which holds 38.5 per cent. LIC promoted the company in 1989.

Market observers say UTI sold the shares last week through block deals in the market. UTI is believed to have raked in around Rs 30 crore from the sale of shares. “Of late there’s been remarkable foreign institutional appetite in the stock. In all likelihood, UTI sold the shares to FIIs,” said brokers who track the stock.

The LIC Housing Finance stock has been rallying over the last few trading sessions propelled by various rumours. The stock was on a roll on Thursday, when it gained 19 per cent to hit a 52-week high of Rs 168.80. It has since fallen and closed at Rs 152.55 on the Bombay Stock Exchange today. Over the last few weeks, there’s been significant spurt in transaction volumes as well.

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