China central bank cuts HDFC stake to below 1%

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(Representative image)

MUMBAI: People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the Chinese central bank that owned a little over 1% in mortgage finance leader HDFC as of March-end, has sold some shares from its holding during the April-June quarter. This has resulted in its stake in the blue-chip company coming down to below the mandatory disclosure limit of 1%.
According to markets regulator Sebi, all listed companies need to disclose the names of entities that hold at least 1% equity in them. HDFC’s latest shareholding disclosure to the bourses, which has the names of all the entities holding 1% or more stake in it, does not list PBoC.
HDFC’s shareholding pattern for the January-March (Q4FY20) quarter showed that PBoC was holding about 1.75 crore of the total 173.2 crore shares issued.
The latest shareholding pattern for April-June quarter (Q1FY21) shows that, during these three months, the home finance company’s total outstanding shares increased by about 25.6 lakh shares to 173.5 crore shares.
So, even if PBoC held the same 1.75 crore shares, its holding in HDFC would still be above 1%. Calculations show that PBoC must have sold at least about 2 lakh HDFC shares to get its holding in the mortgage finance major to below the 1% threshold limit.
Since July 2018, when PBoC received an RBI nod to be registered as a foreign portfolio investor (FPI) in India, the Chinese central bank has been building its portfolio of stocks in select blue-chips. In addition to HDFC, the bank also has small stakes in Ambuja Cement and Piramal Enterprises, as TOI reported on July 7. The value of its stake in these three companies is worth about Rs 3,500 crore.
Market players said that PBoC is believed to be holding small stakes in a few other Indian companies too, but the same has not been disclosed because those are below the 1% disclosure threshold limit.

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