Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said national oil explorer ONGC is the promoter of oil marketing company HPCL and “there should be no confusion about it”. FE had earlier reported that though HPCL was taken over by ONGC in January this year, the former is yet to recognise the upstream major as its promoter in the mandatory quarterly filings with the stock exchanges.
In the filings for Q4FY18 and Q1FY19 with both the BSE and NSE, HPCL clubbed ONGC, which owns its 51.11% share, with ‘public shareholders’ while still mentioning the President of India (read the Union government) as its promoter with 0% stake. ONGC has written to HPCL asking to make necessary changes in its filings.
The state-run explorer had to fork out Rs 36,915 crore to acquire a majority stake in HPCL on being prodded by the government, which wanted to boost its non-debt capital receipts. MK Surana, chairman and managing director of HPCL, on Thursday told reporters, “Whatever we did, are doing and will be doing is as per our understanding of the institutes and Sebi rules.”
An ostensible purpose of the deal was to further the government’s policy of creating an integrated oil major to compete with global and domestic private players. Prior to acquisition, HPCL was on the Fortune Global 500 list ranked 384 (2016) while ONGC was not on the list. Thanks to majority stake in HPCL, ONGC is now ranked 197 (2017) on the list. The Fortune Global 500 is an annual ranking of the top 500 corporations worldwide as measured by revenue.