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Govt sells $5bn of PSU shares in '15, readies '16 pipeline

By Religare

Government's disinvestment kitty has almost doubled this year with over Rs 35,000 crore garnered through PSU share sales, but not without the help of its all-time saviour LIC, while a strong pipeline is ready for 2016 with bluechips like NTPC, Coal India and ONGC, as per the PTI report.

At a record high of Rs 35,236 crore (USD 5.3 billion), the total funds collected by the government through part-sale of its stake in the 'family silver' PSUs during 2015 marks a huge jump from about Rs 18,000 raised in the previous year.


The disinvestment proceeds stood at about Rs 22,000 crore in the year 2013.

Targeting at least Rs 50,000 crore of funds from sale of the 'family silver' PSU shares in 2016, the government will look for right market conditions and positive global cues to resume its disinvestment drive in the new year as it looks to garner the much-needed resources to meet the deficit targets.

The trends in the crude and metal prices would however hold the key as the planned portfolio for the new year largely comprises of commodity stocks.

Disinvestment Secretary Aradhana Johri said that her department is ready with the 2016 pipeline of blue-chip stocks like Coal India, ONGC, NTPC, BHEL and NMDC.

"We have brought about changes in the way we do business. We are ready to hit the market at short notices as and when window opens," Johri told PTI. "We have created a ready pipeline which we can tap into depending on market conditions," she added.

The Department of Disinvestment has been pitching hard for cutting down the notice period for launching the share sale in an already-listed PSU stock to just one days, but the markets regulator Sebi has refused to budge on this as it wanted the retail investors to get sufficient time to ready for a share sale offer.

Sebi has agreed to trim down the window from 'two trading days' to 'two banking days' -- a move that has led to many PSU disinvestments taking place on Mondays.

Story first published: Monday, December 21, 2015, 8:40 [IST]
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