The government will dilute 9.5% stake in the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) on Thursday, a move that is expected to net the exchequer around Rs 12,000 crore, making it the largest offer for sale (OFS) from state-owned entities in the current financial year.
According to persons privy to the development, a formal announcement on the stock exchange is expected on Tuesday. It is also believed that the stake sale would be done at a slight discount to the market price to attract both foreign and domestic investors.
The stake sale comes close on the heels of Oil Indiaís, which helped the government net more than Rs 3,100 crore. Last week, the government diluted 10% stake in Oil India, which saw an impressive response from institutional and non-institutional investors. On Monday, shares of NTPC closed down nearly 1% or R1.40 to R155.35. The scrip has dropped nearly 8% in the last three months. In the last 12 months, the stock has touched a high of R190.30 and a low of Rs 138.95.
If the government is able to raise around R12,000 crore from NTPC, the total divestment proceeds in the current financial year would rise to around R22,000 crore. The government has set a divestment target of R30,000 crore for FY13.
Apart from Oil India, the current financial year saw the government diluting its stake in Hindustan Copper (R800 crore) and NMDC (R6,000 crore) through the OFS route. Though the government has also planned to dilute its stake in SAIL, Nalco, Neyveli Lignite and a few other entities, the final discussions on pricing and timing are not yet complete.
OFS has become the most preferred route for many companies that are looking at diluting a part of the promoter stake. The transaction is completed within market hours in a single day in a transparent manner. Its is also one of the permitted route for promoters who want to bring down their holding to comply with the minimum public shareholding norms.