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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Govt to decide on SAIL stake sale after Q3 results

PTI  New Delhi, January 27, 2013
First Published: 11:11 IST(27/1/2013) | Last Updated: 11:13 IST(27/1/2013)

The government will take a call onselling 10.82% stake in SAIL after announcement of the steel major's third quarter earnings early next month.

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"We are waiting for SAIL's third quarter earnings. The merchant bankers for the share sale feel that a better picture of the company's fundamentals can be put forward before investors after the results," a senior government official told PTI.

As per the disinvestment roadmap, the government plans to sale stake in SAIL in the current fiscal. The stake sale could help government reach the Rs. 30,000 crore disinvestment target of the current year.

So far, the government has raised over Rs. 6,900 crore through minority stake sale in PSUs this fiscal.

SAIL is currently trading around Rs. 89.20 a share. At the current prices, 10.82% stake sale could fetch about Rs. 4,000 crore to the exchequer.

There have been differences over valuation of the steel major in the past as well and the department of disinvestment is not acting in haste to make SAIL hit the markets again.

"The steel sector has started showing signs of improvement and we hope that this will get reflected in the earnings of the company. So, the current valuations of the company could improve," the official added.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had in July last year approved 10.82% disinvestment in SAIL out of government's 85.82% shareholding through Offer of Sale (OFS) route.

However, it could not be taken forward amidst the subdued market conditions. The government has kept the issue on hold anticipating buoyancy in the market to return.

The government has selected merchant bankers for SAIL share sale, including SBI Caps, Kotak Mahindra and Deutsche Bank. The government's stake would come down to 75% post the stake sale.

Government officials have been meeting international investors and highlighting the Indian steel sector's growth potential.

India's steel-making capacity, which currently stands at around 90 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), is projected to grow to 200 mtpa by 2020, calling for an investment of $110 billion in the next six-seven years. However, they face a fund crunch to carry their plans forward.


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