EGoM to decide OIL offer price on January 24

EGoM to decide OIL offer price on January 24 New Delhi: The Empowered Group of Minister (EGoM), headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, will meet on October 24 to fix the price for selling 10 percent stake in Oil India (OIL), which could fetch over Rs 3,000 crore to the exchequer.

"The EGoM will meet on October 24 to finalise the sale price of OIL," sources said, adding that the issue could hit the market on January 29.

The government plans to offload 10 percent stake or 6.01 crore shares in the petroleum exploring company through the Offer For Sale (OFS) route.

The offer price is likely to be at a slight discount to the current trading price.

Shares of OIL closed at Rs 561 apiece on Friday. At the current market price, the stake sale could fetch over Rs 3,300 crore to the exchequer.

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 held in the US, UK and Middle East, to attract investors saw a very encouraging response.

"Oil sector is doing good. We are expecting good investor participation in the OIL share sale offer," an official said.

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

PTI