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Press Trust Of India
Mumbai, March 20, 2013
The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by finance minister P Chidambaram, on Wednesday cleared a 10.82% stake sale in steel major SAIL Ltd, a move that is likely to fetch the government Rs. 2,500 crore. The issue will hit the markets on Friday and the base price would be made public after the close of market hours on Thursday, said Ravi Mathur, divestment secretary. “SAIL OFS (offer for sale) has been approved by the EGoM. The issue will hit the market on March 22.”

SAIL scrip touched a year-low of R64 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Wednesday, before ending down 0.6% at R65. The public sector company’s shares have not been part of the market rally during 2012. The stock, which touched a 52-week high of R116 on February 17, 2012, has been losing ground ever since talks of disinvestment.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had in July last year approved a 10.82% disinvestment in SAIL out of the government’s 85.82%, through the OFS or the auction route.

However, the disinvestment plan could not be taken forward amid subdued market conditions. The government has kept the issue on hold anticipating a turnaround in the market.

The Department of Disinvestment has already held roadshows in Singapore, Hong Kong, the US, the UK and Europe for the proposed disinvestment.