IOC Gains On ONGC, Gail Stake Sale News

Mumbai, May 24: | Updated: May 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
Share prices of the petroleum major Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) surged on Friday on account of reports that the company’s board has in-principle decided to offload its stakes in the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Gas Authority of India Ltd (Gail).

Dealers said that the stock moved up due to expectations of a future appreciation of the share price in the market. The firmness in the stock price was also in line with the buoyancy witnessed in most public sector stocks.

On The Stock Exchange, Mumbai (BSE), the stock closed up 7.9 per cent at Rs 205.55 on volumes of 77,891 shares, as against its previous close of Rs 190.50. The stock opened at Rs 205, touched a high of Rs 223 and hit an intra-day low of Rs 204.50.

Said a petroleum analyst: “IOC has approached the petroleum ministry for permission to offload its 9.61 per cent stake in ONGC and 4.8 per cent stake in Gail, which can garner around Rs 5,100 crore for the company. However, the decision on the matter will be given by the Cabinet.”

Dealers said that there were reports that the offloading of the stake by IOC is expected to boost its profits and bring down the debt-equity ratio, which may have seen a firmness in the IOC share price.

Earlier in 1999, as part of the cross-holding scheme, IOC had acquired 13.7 crore government’s shares in ONGC for Rs 2,225.15 crore.