Government’s disinvestment drive got a tremendous start today, with steel major SAIL’s share sale being subscribed more than two times fetching the exchequer Rs 1,715 crore.
The first disinvestment offering this fiscal saw retail investors lapping up SAIL shares taking the overall subscription to 2.08 times (42.93 crore shares) of the 20.65 crore shares on offer.
Government’s stake in SAIL will come down to 75 per cent pursuant to this public issue, helping the company to meet Sebi’s listing norms.
Government has set a target of Rs 43,425 crore through selling stakes in various PSU firms during the current fiscal.
The Offer For Sale (OFS) got bids for 42.93 crore aggregating to over Rs 3,400 crore but with the government not opting for the green shoe option, only Rs 1,715 crore would come to the exchequer.
“OFS for disinvestment of 5 per cent of government equity in SAIL successfully concluded, to fetch Rs 1,715 crore approximately for the government,” a Finance Ministry statement said.
The offering for SAIL shares also received a robust response from retail investors, to whom the government has offered a five per cent price discount and has reserved 10 per cent or over 2 crore shares for them.
2.06 crore shares, or 10 per cent, which were earmarked for retail investors were subscribed 2.66 times, while the general category shares were subscribed 2.01 times, according to BSE data.
“Retail investors category was… hugely oversubscribed more than 2.5 times, a record for any retail participation in any OFS,” the statement added.
A successful start to the ambitious disinvestment programme will help government contain the fiscal deficit to 4.1 per cent of the GDP in the current financial year.
Government has lined up a host of PSUs to pare holdings. The disinvestment plan includes 5 per cent stake sale in ONGC, 10 per cent in Coal India and 11.36 per cent in NHPC.
SAIL is probably the first OFS in which stock exchanges are showing retail and general category subscription with their respective indicative price separately.
The floor, or the minimum offer, price for SAIL’s share sale has been set at Rs 83 apiece, which is 2.75 per cent less than yesterday’s closing price.