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Uco shares fly off the shelves

Calcutta, Sept. 10: Uco Bank’s initial public offer (IPO) of 20 crore shares has been oversubscribed 9-10 times, initial reports on the issue indicated this evening.

Leading financial institutions and banks like Life Insurance Corporation of India, National Insurance Corporation, UTI Mutual Fund, Indian Overseas Bank and Syndicate Bank are craving for a slice of the Rs 240-crore IPO.

United Bank of India and Allahabad Bank have applied for shares of Uco which, like the two banks, is also based in Calcutta.

A senior official of SBI Caps, the lead manager to the issue, said most banks participated in the flotation. “Initial figures show that the issue has been oversubscribed 9-10 times. A clear picture will emerge in two days,” he said.

A. K. Sridhar, chief investment officer of UTI Mutual Fund, confirmed his company had sent in papers to buy Uco shares, which will be picked by its schemes.

The bank has received an overwhelming response from retail investors too. “The soft pricing of the issue, at Rs 12, has attracted individuals,” said a senior Uco official.

The issue closed today, exactly a week after it opened. “Such was the retail rush that the bank had to accept share forms beyond business hours,” said the official.

Bank chairman and managing director V. P. Shetty said: “We have got an overwhelming response from all kinds of investors, particularly from the small investors.” He would not put a finger on the over-subscription.

The Uco top-brass, including Shetty, had filed applications on the first day of the issue. Even customers of the bank are in the queue. “Some of them have even applied for 50 lakh shares,” said officials of the bank.

The IPO will dilute the government’s stake in the bank to 74.98 per cent and raise its capital to Rs 799.36 crore. The capital adequacy ratio will go up to 11 per cent from 10.04 per cent.

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