IndinaOil divestment process to begin after Diwali

Himani Kaushik Posted online: Friday, Oct 11, 2013 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) disinvestment proposal is back on track after several hiccups. The roadshows for the stake sale are now being planned for November, after Diwali, so that the issue can hit the market by the end of the month.

The scheduled roadshows had to be called off earlier this month following stiff opposition from the petroleum ministry citing poor stock price.

A senior government official said the manner in which the petroleum ministry went public with its reservations over the issue derailed the disinvestment department's plans to push more offers before the Christmas break. The public offer of Engineers India has been pushed to fourth quarter due to the IOC issue.

Sources told FE finance minister P Chidambaram, who was attending a function in Jammu & Kashmir, had to intervene so that the government could go ahead with the issue before mid-December.

The roadshows, which were planned to attract foreign investors for the disinvestment, were due to start in London on October 4, followed by the US, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai next week.

The sale of 19.16 crore IOC shares at the current price would fetch about R4,000 crore, a 10th of this year's disinvestment target. The government held a 78.92% stake in the country's largest oil refiner as of June 30.

The department is also trying hard to push for a 5% stake sale in Coal India before December-end as the parent ministry wants the issue only to be taken up after Chhattisgarh elections scheduled for November. DoD is also working to raise another R10,000 crore through buyback or a special dividend in the company.