Norwegian fund raises stake in Lanco Infratech

Written by P Vinod Kumar | Kavitha Venkatraman | Chennai | Updated: Jan 12 2011, 08:27am hrs
Norges Bank, on behalf of the Norwegian Government Petroleum Fund, a sovereign investment fund owned by the Norwegian government, has mopped up additional shares in Lanco Infratech, the Hyderabad-based independent power producer. The fund had picked up the shares from open market for Rs 64 per share. Norges Bank is Norway's apex bank and manage the overseas investments by the sovereign funds managed by the country.

Lanco, in a regulatory filing, has said the Norwegian Government Petroleum Fund has bought 1.4 crore shares in Lanco Infratech from the open market. The additional stake buy has pushed up the holdings of the Norwegian fund in Lanco to a tad lower than 2% against 1.17% in the September 2010 quarter.

Norwegian Government Petroleum Fund was incorporated in 1990 and is owned and operated by the Government of Norway. The fund has an investment portfolio to the tune of $ 85 billion outside the Scandinavian country. The Fund invest mainly in financial assets abroad in emerging markets.

Meanwhile, Lanco Infratech is planning to foray into power transmission and distribution (T&D) business. Besides, it is also looking to develop coal assets in the domestic and international arena and to start trading in coal.

Lanco is eyeing to buy stake in coal blocks wherever possible, develop coal assets and then sell coal to bigger companies for power generation. This will create additional revenue for the company which is already a developer and contractor of power projects. The company wants to have global presence in power generation and has offices in Singapore, Indonesia and China. Lanco, through its Australian subsidiary Lanco Resources

Australia had recently signed a definitive agreement to buy the entire stake in Griffin Coal Mining and Carpenter Mine Management for an undisclosed amount.