Govt gets going on disinvestment

Last Updated: Sat, Sep 15, 2012 04:56 hrs
hcl, hcl tech, hcl technologies

The government on Friday cleared stake sale in Nalco, MMTC, Hindustan Copper (HCL) and Oil India. The Cabinet approved divestment of 12.15 per cent government stake in Nalco, 9.33 per cent in MMTC, 9.59 per cent in HCL and 10 per cent in Oil India.

The department of disinvestment had started the process of offer for sale through stock exchanges in Nalco, NMDC and Neyvile Lignite Corporation. At current stock prices, these companies would fetch the government around Rs 10,000 crore. Preparations for disinvestment in SAIL, BHEL and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited are already on. The RINL initial public offering, which was postponed twice, is slated to be the first to be rolled out. Though the government had failed to disinvest in the current financial year, DoD officials are confident that with these companies now lined up, the target of Rs 30,000 crore for the year would be achieved.

Besides the market route, the government is also considering exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and buyback of shares by the cash-rich public sector companies for meeting the target.

The ETF route would allow the government to pool shares of companies in which it wants to sell stake, to create a fund. This would then be divided into smaller units, which would be listed on stock exchanges.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram had met the public sector companies this week to ascertain their investment plans.

With markets again looking up due to stimulus plans in the US and Europe, and the government action on policy front, officials said disinvestment was also expected to get a boost.

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