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Govt to sell 10% stake in CIL on Jan 30; to get Rs 24,000 cr

The government will sell up to 10 percent stake in the blue chip Coal India Ltd (CIL) through offer for sale on Friday and is expected to mop up around Rs 24,000 crore at current market price.

Govt to sell 10% stake in CIL on Jan 30; to get Rs 24,000 cr

New Delhi: In the country's biggest share sale ever, the government will sell up to 10 percent stake in Coal India Ltd to raise about Rs 24,000 crore on Friday.

The government will sell 31.58 crore shares, or five percent stake, in a public offer, with an option to sell another 5 percent, Coal India said in a regulatory filing.

The disinvestment will help the government meet half of the Rs 43,425 crore revenue target from stake sale in public sector.

At today's closing price of Rs 384.05, a 10 percent stake sale in the world's largest coal producer will raise Rs 24,257 crore.

The floor or minimum sale price for the offer will be announced tomorrow.

Government currently holds 89.65 percent stake in Coal India, which was listed through a record initial public offering (IPO) in October 2010, raising Rs 15,199 crore.

With only Rs 1,715 crore being raised this fiscal by way of disinvestment, the government is looking at aggressively selling stakes in public sector firms to help meet its fiscal deficit target of 4.1 percent of GDP for the year ending March 31.

The other major stake sale lined up is in Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), but the slumping oil prices have dampened the company's prospects.

The ONGC disinvestment was to give the government at least Rs 15,000 crore. To overcome the shortfall, it has lined up a host of companies including NMDC, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), National Aluminium (Nalco) and Dredging Corporation (DCIL). Five percent stake sale in PFC and REC are also on cards.

For the Coal India stake sale, the government has doubled to 20 percent the quota reserved for retail investors, who can buy shares worth up to Rs 2 lakh in the share sale. They would also be given a 5 percent discount to the bid price entered by them.

Coal India would be second company to hit the markets under the government's disinvestment programme.

The government had garnered Rs 1,715 crore through stake sale in steel maker SAIL last year.
A minimum of 25 percent of the Coal India issue would be reserved for mutual funds and insurance companies.

The government will sell 5 percent stake in ONGC this fiscal even though falling global oil prices pose a challenge, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said earlier today.

The government faces a daunting task as it has to stick to the fiscal deficit target of 4.1 percent in the current year ending March and proceeds from disinvestment would be a major boost to Centre's plan of restricting it.

Fiscal deficit has reached 98.9 percent of Budget Estimate (BE) in eight months ended November 2014 to Rs 5.25 lakh crore, highlighting tight financial position of the central government. It was 94 percent of BE in corresponding period last year.