HDFC Ltd today said its board has approved raising up to Rs 13,000 crore primarily to maintain its holding in its banking arm and enter segments like stressed assets and health insurance. This will be the first equity raising by the country's largest pure-play mortgage lender in over a decade. "The Committee of Directors of the Corporation at its meeting held today approved the issue of equity shares up to an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 13,000 crore through a combination of a Preferential Allotment and Qualified Institutions Placement, subject to shareholders' approval through postal ballot," HDFC said in a statement. The board approved issuance 6.43 crore shares of face value of Rs 2 each on a preferential basis at a price of Rs 1726.05 per share, aggregating to Rs 11,103.66 crore to various investors including Azim Premji Trust. A total of 3.01 crore shares will be issued to an affiliate of GIC Waverly Pte, 1 crore shares to the administrator of the pension plan for Ontario's municipal employees (OMERS) of Canada and about 92 lakh shares to KKR firm Silverview Investment Pte, it said. The board also approved the issuance of such number of shares of face value of Rs 2 each through Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) such that the total amount to be raised shall not exceed Rs 1,896 crore, subject to approval. "The key objective of raising capital is to participate in the preferential issue of HDFC Bank up to an amount not exceeding Rs 8,500 crore. This would enable the Corporation to maintain its current shareholding in HDFC Bank," it said. HDFC is also exploring inorganic opportunities in the health insurance sector in conjunction with its subsidiary HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company and is evaluating opportunities in the acquisition and resolution of stressed assets in the real estate sector, it said. "The Corporation will also need capital to sponsor funds it has set up to invest in the equity and mezzanine debt of affordable housing projects, support capital requirements of its subsidiary companies as and when required and capitalise on organic and inorganic growth opportunities in the affordable housing finance space," it added.