Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Sunday, Feb 15, 2004
Industry & Economy
Markets - IPOs
GAIL offer to open on February 27, ONGC March 5
New Delhi , Feb. 14
THE public offer of state-owned gas transmission company GAIL (India) Ltd would open on February 27, followed by Oil & Natural Gas Corporation on March 5, as per a revised timeframe finalised by the Government on Friday for the sale of minority as well as residual stakes in six companies.
The aim is to wrap up the six issues and the ensuing procedural formalities well before the fiscal ending on March 31.
The revised schedule was firmed up by the Government in consultation with the stock exchanges and book runners for the public issues at a meeting held on Friday. The Government is selling 10 per cent of its equity each in GAIL (India) and ONGC in the market during the public offers.
" The Government has now decided to launch the GAIL (India) public offer on February 27", the Disinvestment Secretary, Mr Dhirendra Singh, said on Saturday.
According to the revised schedule, the GAIL (India) public offer would now precede the ONGC offer, which is slated for March 5, in order to help the Government complete the six public offers by March 13. The GAIL (India) public offer was earlier slated to hit the market on March 13. But, it was felt that this would have left very little time for the Government to complete the procedural formalities associated with the post-closure of the book.
``It takes a while for the shares to get listed. Besides, there are formalities with various stock exchanges and work to be done by the Registrar of the issues,'' Ministry sources said. There were concerns that the original schedule of public offers may not have left enough time for completing all these procedures in a proper manner before March 31.
As per the revised schedule, the public offer by Reliance-controlled IPCL would open on February 20, while that of Tatas-controlled CMC Ltd would hit the market on February 23. The Government will sell its residual stakes in both these companies.
The public offer of residual Government equity in IBP & Co Ltd (now a subsidiary of IOC) and the initial public offer of 20 per cent Government equity in Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) will be launched simultaneously on February 26. All the issues will remain open for a week.
The Government is banking heavily on the six public offers to raise the money needed for meeting the revised disinvestment target of Rs 14,500 crore for the current fiscal after a Supreme Court ruling last September scotched all chances of privatisation of oil PSUs namely HPCL and BPCL and its impact on other PSUs lined up for strategic sales.
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