With the blockbuster response to the NMDC issue, the finance ministry is planning to push back the launch of the exchange traded fund of listed state-owned units and to 2013-14 will instead concentrate only on public offers in the current fiscal.
“There is still a lot of planning involved for the ETFs and its unlikely to be finalised by March. The thinking now is to launch it in early 2013-14,” a senior finance ministry official said.
The department of disinvestment has already floated a proposal for approval by the Cabinet and is expected to advertise for an asset management company for the ETF next week. Earlier it had appointed ICICI Securities as the adviser for creation of the fund, which is expected to include stocks of blue chip PSUs such as ONGC, BHEL and Power Finance Corporation.
“The final decision on which of the PSUs will be included in the fund will be taken by the group of ministers on disinvestment after the Cabinet approval is in place,” the official said, adding that it would have a corpus of about Rs 5,000 crore. Employees of the PSUs that are a part of the fund would also be eligible for a five per cent discount.
In the meantime, the finance ministry is expected to focus on disinvestment through public offers. It is planning to sell equity in PSUs including NTPC Ltd, Oil India Ltd (OIL), National Aluminum Company Ltd (Nalco) and MMTC Ltd in the remaining three months of the fiscal.
“We have already raised about Rs 7,000 crore from stake sales in Hindustan Copper and NMDC. The remaining target will be met through these issues,” the official said. The government hopes to raise Rs 30,000 crore from disinvestment proceeds in the 2012-13 and keen to fund a fiscal deficit of 5.3 per cent, finance minister P Chidambaram has stressed that it must be met.
However, the 9.5 per cent stake sale in NTPC has now been pushed back to February and the government is unlikely to have any divestment issue in January. The NTPC issue, which will raise close to Rs 13,000 crore is expected to be followed by a 10 per cent stake sale in OIL that could fetch about Rs 3,000 crore.
The department of disinvestment is also finalising the modalities of the 12.5 per cent stake sale in Nalco, which will raise an estimated Rs 1,500 crore.