NEW DELHI/MUMBAI, April 17 India plans to sell
stakes worth $5.4 billion in seven state-run companies during
the current financial year as Asia's third-largest economy looks
to fund its fiscal deficit amid ramped-up spending on rural
areas and infrastructure.
The part sale of government stakes in state-run and private
firms is critical to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.2
percent of gross domestic product in the year to March 2018.
India aims to raise 725 billion rupees ($11.26 billion) through
stake sales during the year.
The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has
sought bids from merchant bankers and legal advisors to manage
the sale of shares in firms including Indian Oil Corp Ltd
, NTPC Ltd and Steel Authority of India Ltd
(SAIL), according to bidding documents on its website.
The government will sell the stakes through the
offer-for-sale route, meaning by auction on stock exchanges.
The sales could fetch the government 345 billion rupees at
the last closing price of the stocks, according to Reuters
The government plans to sell 3 percent of top fuel retailer
Indian Oil Corp Ltd and 10 percent each of top utility
NTPC, largest steelmaker SAIL and hydropower producer NHPC Ltd
It also plans to sell 5 percent of Rural Electrification
Corp Ltd, 10 percent of Power Finance Corp Ltd
and 15 percent of miner NLC India Ltd.
Some of these firms were listed for stake sale in the last
fiscal year too but the programme faltered due to adverse market
conditions, forcing the government to revise down its
fund-raising target to 455 billion rupees.
In 2016/17, the government raised 462.47 billion rupees from
($1 = 64.3900 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma and Abhirup Roy)