The government's stake sale in Hindustan Copper got off to a flying start on Friday, fetching Rs. 800 crore and raising hopes that the ambitious Rs.30,000-crore disinvestment programme this fiscal would fare better than the one last year.
In 2011-12, the Rs. 40,000 crore was missed by a wide margin, with bad market conditions forcing the Centre to defer stake sale in many companies.
They were offered at Rs. 155 per share, a 41% discount to Thursday's closing price of the company's share on BSE.
Enthused by the response, the government was quick to tom-tom confidence that it would meet the overall target in the last four months of the fiscal year.
This is the first disinvestment this year, and is expected to be followed by stake sales in India's largest iron ore miner, NMDC, and power producer NTPC.
"About 5.58% of the total paid-up share capital of HCL stands divested through today's (Friday) issue," said a finance ministry statement. "The approximate gross receipts from the issue is R800 crore."
"I am happy that issue has been fully subscribed," said finance minister P Chidambaram. "This is the resumption of disinvestment and we will go forward with the process as approved by the CCEA between now and March. I hope that we can collect the targeted R30,000 crore."
Actual bids for Hindustan Copper may be even higher, as stock exchanges are yet to complete the compilation of data of all the bids received since the process opened at 9.15 am on Friday.
The government was targeting a minimum 4% stake sale, which can go up to 9.59% depending on investor response.