Govt gets nearly Rs 6K cr from NMDC stake sale

Dec 13 2012, 02:58 IST
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Summary* Divestment process gets a leg up after a slow start and lacklustre Hindustan Copper Ltd response

In stark contrast to its follow-on public offer two years ago, a 10 per cent disinvestment in state-owned NMDC was subscribed 1.73 times on Wednesday, with foreign institutional investors (FIIs) putting in hefty bids helping the government raise nearly Rs 6,000 crore.

Data available with the National Stock Exchange (NSE) revealed that against the offer for sale of 39,64,71,600 shares, the company received 68,69,17,300 bids. The indicative price was Rs 149.15 per share as against the floor price of Rs 147 apiece. Indicative price is the volume weighted average price of all the valid or confirmed bids. The shares would be distributed following the ‘price priority’ method. On Wednesday, shares of NMDC fell by 3.17 per cent to close at Rs 154.25 on the BSE and dipped by 3.23 per cent on the NSE to end at Rs 154.40.

The NMDC issue was the second largest disinvestment in this calendar year, following the messy auction of ONGC in March that saw technical glitches at the bourses and had to be bailed out by the Life Insurance Corporation and public sector banks. “Pricing is everything. Since the NMDC issue was priced attractively, it generated a good demand amongst investors and we hope to raise about Rs 6,000 crore,” a finance ministry official said.

With the floor price kept at a 7.7 per cent discount on Tuesday’s market rate, FIIs are understood to have bid for over 30 per cent of the shares on offer at an average price of Rs 150 per share. Meanwhile, Life Insurance Corporation of India is understood to have bid for shares worth just Rs 1,000 crore bidding at the floor price.

Kishor P Ostwal, CMD, CNI research said, “The huge bids by FIIs show confidence in the government’s policies. Attractive pricing also played a good role,” adding that the share price will continue to rise in the coming weeks, unlike the Hindustan Copper Ltd scrip which was hammered after the disinvestment.

“LIC is one of the biggest market players and it will always invest in a good issue,” another finance ministry official pointed out, adding that the government is now hopeful of meeting the Budget target of Rs 30,000 crore from disinvestment. The government has till now raised Rs 809 crore from a 5.59 per cent stake sale in HCL last month and hopes to divest 9.5 per cent stake in NTPC by January 15, which would fetch Rs 13,000

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