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    Aditya Puri reveals why he sold HDFC Bank shares before retirement

    Synopsis

    Aditya Puri had sold off HDFC Bank shares worth Rs 843 crore last July, three months before retirement.

    HDFC Bank's outgoing MD & CEO Aditya Puri (File photo)

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    New Delhi: When HDFC Bank's outgoing managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Aditya Puri pocketed Rs 843 crore in July by selling off 95 per cent of his stake in the bank, it surprised many and led to wide speculations in the stock market.

    The veteran banker today explained that the stake sale was nothing but part of an asset allocation strategy suited for a 70-year-old man. "My selling or buying shares has got nothing to do with what HDFC Bank does or cutting any umbilical cord," Puri said in an interview with ET Now.

    "If you were a 70-year-old, would you have kept all your eggs in one basket and in equity?," Puri, who sold 74.2 lakh shares of the bank between July 21 and Jul 24, said when asked that whether the move to sell ESOPs before retirement was meant to cut his umbilical cord with HDFC Bank forever.

    Before the transaction, he had held 77.96 lakh shares or 0.14 per cent of the bank's equity capital. Puri received 6.82 lakh ESOPs in FY2020.

    "This was actually part of an advice given by others including Shashi and Abhay that I should diversify a bit. I was actually thinking too much about the bank. An investment banker, whose name I would not take, said think about it," he said.

    Sashidhar Jagdishan succeeds Puri as the country's largest private sector lender's CEO and MD.

    When asked about shareholders’ concerns that HDFC Bank equals Aditya Puri, he said, "I hate to disappoint you but HDFC Bank is not Mr Puri. If you think 1,20,000 people are making money because Mr Puri made the decision, let me tell you I do not make decisions. I sit down with the team. We set the vision and we have tremendous arguments on that and we test out what works and we scale it."
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    3 Comments on this Story

    R R40 days ago
    All the eggs were in one basket till he was seventy but the explanation does not hold some information percolates to people at the top about impending lockdowns due to their proximity with policy makers just before covid19 market meltdown shares were disposed of course technically following SEBI restrictions and disclosures. Please don't preach and deliver 'sermons on the mount' when you made a killing in an unethical way
    VIVEK SHIVDASANI40 days ago
    We have a lot riding on Shashidhar and his team. They had better live up to the standards set by Mr Puri.
    Padamnoor Pradeep40 days ago
    Good one! Asset allocation strategy!! I thought he could buy up a Small Bank or something which is close to his heart and start all over again! Generals don't retire.....
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