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Govt to offload its Oil India stake on Feb 1

Sale may fetch exchequer up to Rs 3,000 crore

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The government will offload its 10% equity in India Ltd (OIL) on Friday which may fetch the exchequer up to Rs 3,000 crore. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, today.

"Proposal has been cleared. will take place on February 1 through offer for sale (OFS) route.
Roughly we will raise Rs 2,500-3,000 crore," Petroleum Secretary G C Chaturvedi said.

According to sources, shares will be offered at a discounted price. "Price has been determined. It has been communicated to stock exchanges," Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily told reporters after the meeting.

The government has proposed to sell 10% stake or 6.01 crore shares in the petroleum exploring company OIL through OFS route. OIL's paid-up capital as on March 2012, was Rs 601 crore.

Shares of OIL were trading at Rs 528 apiece, down 2.14% from its previous close on BSE in later afternoon trade. At current prices, 10 stake can fetch around Rs 3,000 crore to the exchequer.

The government holds 78.43% stake in the company and would come down to 68.43%, after disinvestment. OIL issue would help the Centre inch towards the Rs 30,000-crore disinvestment target set for the current fiscal.

The government has so far raised Rs 6,900 crore through disinvestment. As per the disinvestment roadmap of the government, OIL issue was initially slated to happen in the last week of January, to be followed by one PSU stake sale every fortnight.    

The stock has been on fire ever since the government started considering partial decontrol of heavily subsidised diesel prices. A partial deregulation would mean OIL having to pitch in lesser subsidy.

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