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No decision in EGoM on OIL stake sale pricing

Last Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 22:11

New Delhi: The Empowered Group of Ministers, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Thursday did not take a decision on pricing and timing of sale of government's 10 percent stake in explorer Oil India Ltd.

The EGoM was expected to decide on pricing of 6.01 crore shares Thursday so that the issue could hit the market on January 29 as per the tentative schedule.

"The meeting is adjourned," Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily told reporters after the meeting, which lasted only 15 minutes.

He refused to elaborate when asked about reasons for taking no decision. He merely said the meeting adjourned "for obvious reasons".

The EGoM was to decide on the base price for selling 10 percent stake or 6.01 crore shares in the petroleum exploring company through the Offer For Sale (OFS) route.

Shares of OIL closed at Rs 529 apiece, down 0.85 percent over previous close on the BSE.

Government has been eyeing around Rs 3,000 crore through stake sale in the company. It would help the Centre meet the Rs 30,000 crore disinvestment target set in the Budget.

As per the disinvestment roadmap of the government, OIL issue was to happen in the last week of January, to be followed by one PSU stake sale every fortnight.

The government holds 78.43 percent stake in the company and would come down to 68.43 percent, after disinvestment. OIL's paid-up capital, as on March 2012, was Rs 601 crore.

The stock has been on fire ever since the government started considering partial decontrol of heavily subsidised diesel prices. It has risen by Rs 100 in the past few weeks as even a partial deregulation would mean OIL having to pitch in lesser subsidy.

Upstream firms, like OIL and ONGC, make up for about 40 percent of the revenue that fuel retailers lose on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene at government controlled rates.

The government had on January 17 allowed retailers to raise diesel prices by small quantum every month to cut the Rs 96,000 crore deficit on the fuel sale.

Sources said the international roadshows for OIL stake sale held in the US, UK and Middle East, to attract investors saw a very encouraging response.

OIL got listed on stock exchanges in the year 2009. As on March 31, 2012, the company has employee strength of 8,096.


First Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 22:11
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