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Will attempt FPO in March: SAIL Chairman

business Updated: Feb 17, 2011 20:14 IST

PTI
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Steel Authority of India on Thursday said it will attempt to launch the Rs 8,000 crore follow-on public offer before the fiscal-end though submission of prospectus within February seems to be a difficult proposition.

"We will definitely attempt to launch the FPO before the end of the current fiscal. Filing the red herring prospectus, however, within February seems to be a tall target," SAIL Chairman C S Verma told PTI.

However, he said the attempt to launch the offer would entirely depend upon the market conditions and liquidity situation in the system.

"We will attempt it depending upon the market condition. We have to see which are other issues that are hitting the market. We have to make assessment of the market conditions," Verma said.

Drawn his attention to the forthcoming FPO of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), he said, "We will also have to see when ONGC is entering the market and when the refunds of the ONGC issue will go back to the investors. There has to be enough liquidity".

ONGC is likely to enter the market with its proposed Rs 13,000 crore FPO on March 15.

The SAIL FPO was earlier slated to hit the market in February, but got delayed due to some issue with the book running lead managers (BRLMs), which has now been solved.

However, fearing a repeat of sorts, the steel major is now keen on taking legally-binding undertakings from the four investments bankers - SBI Caps, Kotak Mahindra, Deutsche Bank and HSBC.

It has though agreed to keep the banks for managing its issue.

"There were some conflict with BRLMs. Now, we have taken the legal opinion of the Attorney General of India. We are to take the legally binding undertaking from them. And, then we will decide on the future course of action and about the timing of the FPO," Verma said.

The government has so far garnered about Rs 23,000 crore by divesting its stakes in Coal India, Engineers India, MOIL and some other PSUs against its target of Rs 40,000 crore. It is banking on big-ticket FPOs of ONGC and SAIL to meet the target.