Business conglomerate Tata group's investment arm has acquired fresh shares of at least two banks, Bank of Baroda and Andhra Bank, and has increased its shareholding of five other lenders.
The banks where Tata Investment Corporation Ltd (TICL) has increased its stake include ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Axis Bank, Central Bank of India and Corporation Bank.
It also increased its shareholding in at least three non-banking financial sector entities -- IDFC, REC and GIC Housing Finance -- during the last fiscal.
The company also holds shares of at least four non-banking financial sector entities -- HDFC, IL&FS Investment Managers, LIC Housing Finance and Motilal Oswal Financial Services -- the shareholding in which remained unchanged last year.
The changes in investment portfolio has been disclosed by the company in its latest annual report for the year 2011-12.
Tata Investment Corporation (TICL) acts as a portfolio investment arm of Tata group, the country's largest corporate house that is present in almost all major businesses, except banking.
Incidentally, another large corporate house, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries group, also acquired shares in financial sector giants like HDFC, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank during 2011-12 as part of its long-term 'investments'.
These financial investments, estimated to be worth over Rs 1,200 crore, included purchase of shares of six banks -- three each from the public and private sectors -- and one housing finance major HDFC Ltd.
The banks whose shares have been acquired by Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) also include HDFC Bank, SBI, Punjab National Bank and Canara Bank and these have been classified among 'long-term investments' in RIL's annual report for the year 2011-12.
RIL did not own any share in these seven companies at the end of the previous fiscal, 2010-11.
As per TICL's annual report, banking sector now accounts for 5.83% of its total investment portfolio, up from 4.83% at the end of previous fiscal 2010-11.
Besides banking, TICL increased its exposure to only the electricals and electronics sector and the bonds during the year ended March 31, 2012.
During the year, TICL also sold its entire shareholding of two banks, Dena Bank and Punjab National Bank (PNB), while its holding remained unchanged in banks like Development Credit Bank, HDFC Bank, Indian Bank, Indian Bank, SBI and United Bank of India.
The book value of TICL's entire banking sector equity holding rose by about Rs 20 crore to Rs 74.5 crore during 2011-12, although their market value fell marginally from Rs 164 crore to Rs 157 crore owing to a sluggish market trend.
Tata Investment Corp (TICL) lists its equity investments in two categories -- non-current and current investments.
As part of its normal business, TICL makes investments in stocks of Tata and non-Tata companies, as also in bonds, mutual funds and other asset classes. Its profits are mainly derived from dividend income and sale of investments.
"The company continues to invest in Tata and non-Tata companies, both in the listed and unlisted categories, though investments in Tata companies generally constitute a larger proportion and are of a longer term and strategic nature," it said.
The company said that its non-current investments "have been made with the intent to hold for long term appreciation, to enhance the income from dividends and are not held for trade. The investments in the 'current' category are intended to be held for less than one year.
In the 'non-current investment' category, TICL acquired fresh shares of two banks (Andhra Bank and BoB), exited two (Dena Bank and PNB) and hiked stake in four (Central Bank, Corporation Bank, ICICI Bank and IDBI Bank).
In its 'current investment' equity portfolio, TICL did not add any fresh bank, but hiked its stake in Axis Bank and exited State Bank of India (SBI).
TICL's total non-current investments stood at Rs 1,688 crore as on March 31, 2012 -- up from Rs 1,219 crore a year ago, while the value of current investments rose from Rs 72 crore to Rs 120 crore during this period.
The company made fresh investments of Rs 1470 crore during the year, while it sold off investments worth about Rs 1,006 crore.
The total number of companies in its equity portfolio fell to 171 at the end of last fiscal, from 205 as on March 31, 2010. However, the decline in the number of invested companies was largely due to the company writing off its four investments in Pakistan and 22 in Sri Lanka.
TICL was set up by Tata group's holding company Tata Sons Ltd in 1937 under the name The Investment Corporation of India Ltd and it became a publicly held company in 1959.
Subsequently, its activities underwent a gradual transformation from assisting the establishment of new ventures, to acting as an investment company with a diversified portfolio of investments.