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HindCopper, Nalco, Oil India FPOs next month: Secy

The govt wishes to raise around Rs 6,500 cr from the follow-on offers

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Undeterred by the deferment of RINL public offer, the Finance Ministry today said it would push for the divestment of Hindustan Copper, Oil India, and next month.

"We are trying to push Hindustan Copper and Nalco by tge first week of November. Hopefully, should also hit the market by in the same month," Disinvestment Secretary Haleem Khan told reporters on the sidelines of a capital markets summit organised by the industry lobby Ficci here.

When asked if he is confident of achieving the divestment target of Rs 30,000 crore, he said, "There should not be any pessimism about the total number."

Discounting the setback the disinvestment department had to face with the part-sale of RINL (Rashtriya Ispat Nigam) earlier this week, Khan said it is a small issue and he does not think it will have a bearing on the total target.

"The general feedback from the i-bankers is that once the expansion plan (of RINL) is rolled out, it will give better price. Also, commodity market, especially steel, is a bit depressed now. So, we will revisit the whole thing in a month or two," the secretary said.

The government plans to raise around Rs 2,000 crore by off-loading 9.59% stake in Hindustan Copper, around Rs 2,950 crore by offloading 10% in OIL and about Rs 1,600 crore through selling 12.15% in Nalco.

When asked about stake sales in other companies, especially NTPC, Khan said they will happen before March. On October 9, just a day before officially launching the process of RINL, the government deferred the plan indefinitely as the steel ministry refused to agree to a below book value pricing that the merchant bankers had suggested.

This was the third deferment of the proposed divestment in the Visakhapatnam-based steel-maker, which is the fifth largest steel maker in the country.

The government hoped to raise up to Rs 1,200 crore through the follow-on public offer by selling a 10% stake in RINL.

Merchant bankers, UBS and Deutsche Bank had suggested a price of Rs 17-18 while  the book value of the company is Rs 22.50, which was not acceptable to the steel ministry.

About achieving the minimum public float in public sector companies, Khan said there are some sick companies in which people may not be interested to buy into and government does not know how to comply with the public float directions in these companies.

He, however, said that those companies, which don't have minimum free float, have started preparation for achieving the same.

Khan said the proposed PSU exchange traded fund, will take a little while and the ministry is trying to engage an advisor for the proposed ETF.

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