BPCL, HPCL Slip On Fears Of Divestment Delay

Mumbai, June 24: | Updated: Jul 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
Stock prices of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) slipped on the bourses, following news that the divestment procedure for the oil majors had been deferred to March 10, 2003, and April 22, 2003 respectively.

On the Stock Exchange, Mumbai (BSE), the stock of BPCL closed 3.6 per cent lower at Rs 296.65 against its previous close at Rs 307.80, while HPCL closed at Rs 287.75, slipping two per cent against its previous close at Rs 293.90. Traded volumes of BPCL stood at 13,53,950 shares with that of HPCL at 7,19,074.

Dealers said that market players are sceptical about the divestment procedure and selling on the counters of these oil firms was in reaction to this uncertainity in the divestment procedure. However, dealers opined that the stock prices of these oil majors could witness a revival in the immediate future, as market sentiment seems to be upbeat with the news that the petroleum ministry is pitching for an initial public offer (IPO) for BPCL.

The proposed IPO shall be effective in garnering resources for funding the expansion projects and bringing down the debt-equity ratio prior to the strategic sale in BPCL petroleum minister, Ram Naik said.