paytm shares vijay shekhar sharma: Will buy Paytm shares at any given opportunity: Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said on Monday that he is ready to increase his stake in the company at any point in time and that Ant Financial selling its shares in the payments services provider was one such opportunity.

Speaking to ET on the sidelines of a product launch, Sharma said the Chinese investor was the biggest shareholder of Paytm, but now it is an Indian individual.

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On August 8, Ant Financial transferred a 10.3% stake in the Noida-headquartered company to an entity named Resilient Asset Management, which is fully owned by Sharma.

“I have looked at every opportunity to back Paytm and this was one of those,” he said.

Sharma’s statement around Paytm being backed by an Indian individual attains significance in the context of the Indian government building protective walls around Indian businesses from excessive Chinese influence. The fact that Paytm had more than 23% of its shares owned by a Chinese investor was creating roadblocks for the company to get regulatory permission for multiple businesses.

Now Sharma is the sole beneficial owner of Paytm with an almost 19.5% stake.

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Sharma told Bloomberg also that he was ready to raise his stakes in the company further as it approached profitability.Commenting on the entry into financial services, Sharma said Paytm had built strong distribution capabilities in partnership with large financial institutions.

He added that he would prefer to remain a distributor and not seek a non-banking finance company licence.

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