Sale of 5% stake: Government readies ONGC OFS

By: | Published: August 28, 2018 6:07 AM

The Centre will likely sell a 5% stake in the country’s largest oil explorer ONGC in what could be one of its largest disinvestment exercises in the current fiscal. At current prices (the ONGC stock closed Rs 176.20 on Monday), the stake sale may fetch the exchequer Rs 11,300 crore.

The department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) held roadshows in the US last week to reach out to potential investors for the proposed offer for sale (OFS) of the government’s stake in ONGC.

The Centre will likely sell a 5% stake in the country’s largest oil explorer ONGC in what could be one of its largest disinvestment exercises in the current fiscal. At current prices (the ONGC stock closed Rs 176.20 on Monday), the stake sale may fetch the exchequer Rs 11,300 crore.

The department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) held roadshows in the US last week to reach out to potential investors for the proposed offer for sale (OFS) of the government’s stake in ONGC. The exact quantum of equity to be offloaded is, however, yet to be decided, a source said, adding that it could be 3-5%. While the government achieved the largest ever disinvestment revenue of Rs 1 lakh crore last fiscal, receipts have been subdued this fiscal — only Rs 9,220 crore has been collected so far, half the amount garnered by the same time frame last year.

The target for this year is Rs 80,000 crore.

This year, the disinvestment strategy is push as many small stake sales as possible, keeping in mind appetite of investors and to avoid volatility in the market, an official said.

The Centre owns 67.45% in ONGC. ONGC had bought the Centre’s 51% stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Rs 36,915 crore last year, helping boost the disinvestment receipts.

The previous stake sale in ONGC was in FY12, when the Centre sold a 5% stake to raise Rs 12,750 crore, thanks to a bailout by the Life Insurance Corporation of India. Since then, the Centre’s plan to sell more of its holding in the company floundered as the stock got hammered due to sharing of the government’s fuel subsidy burden.

The recent decision of the government to drop a plan to ask ONGC to resume sharing its fuel subsidy burden if the Indian basket of crude breaches $70 a barrel is a positive for the proposed stake sale. The subsidy sharing practice was discontinued in FY16. From nearly 60% in FY15, the share of ONGC and Oil India in petroleum subsidy declined to 10% in FY16 and further to nil in FY17.

Besides ONGC, the pipeline of stake sales this year include a 5% stake sale in Coal India that could fetch close to Rs 9,100 crore at the current market price of Rs 292.60 per share. DIPAM held roadshows abroad in June this year for the proposed OFS in CIL. Besides OFSs of ONGC and CIL, officials are hoping that a fresh tranche of an existing CPSE exchange-traded funds as well as OFSs in other PSUs such as Indian Oil (3%) and Power Finance Corporation (10%) could fetch a substantial sum to achieve the Centre’s ambitious disinvestment target in FY19.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Switch to Hindi Edition