10% govt stake sale in HAL to be taken up today

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 07, 2012 21:44 hrs

The Cabinet is expected to discuss a proposal tomorrow to divest 10 per cent stake in Bangalore-headquartered Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the defence equipment major. At present, the government holds all the equity.

Earlier, it had cleared disinvestment of some stake in National Aluminium (Nalco), Hindustan Copper and Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC), among other public sector undertakings, to meet the aim of earning Rs 30,000 crore revenue on this count in the current financial year.

The government expects to raise at least Rs 2,500 crore by divesting the HAL stake. The company is handling a number of important projects for the armed forces and the government has plans to spend Rs 20,000 crore in the next five years for modernising it.

Some officials said a proposal from the ministry of finance to amend the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992, for enlarging the selection of presiding officers for special tribunals could also be considered at the meeting.

Meanwhile, on MMTC, officials said three merchant bankers were in the race for conducting the stake offload through the Offer For Sale route. Of its shareholding of 99.33 per cent in MMTC, the government is considering disinvesting 9.33 per cent paid-up equity share capital, comprising 9.3 million shares of a face value of Rs 1 each.

The deadline for bids in selecting merchant bankers and brokers for MMTC was extended thrice during October. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam’s initial public offering had also been deferred thrice. Finance ministry officials say for both RINL and MMTC, pricing is a major concern. So far this year, the government has yet to put through any PSU stake sale, though Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said the Rs 30,000 crore target would be achieved.

Govt defers 12.5% stake sale in Nalco
The government today deferred 12.5 per cent stake sale in Nalco, saying the company's second quarter financial performance was not reflective of the true financial position of the aluminium major.

Besides Nalco and MMTC, the government's list of companies in which the process of stake sale through an OFS has been initiated by the disinvestment department includes Oil India and NMDC.

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