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Three big-ticket PSU share sale in Jan-Mar 2011

The public offerings of navratna companies Steel Authority of India, Indian Oil Corporation and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation will hit Dalal Street early next year.

The public offerings of three bluechip navratna companies - Steel Authority of India (SAIL), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) - will hit Dalal Street in the first quarter of next year, a top government official said on Tuesday.

"During the first quarter (January-March) of next calender year, we will see the public offerings of SAIL, IOC and ONGC," Disinvestment Secretary Sumit Bose told reporters here, during the roadshow of Coal India's initial public offer (IPO).

When asked whether these big public issues could flood the primary market, Bose said we can adjust three issues in three months - that means each month (January, February and March) there will be one big-ticket issue.

"There is an enormous appetite in the market," Bose added.

Coal India's Rs 15,000-crore mega IPO, that closes on October 21, will help the Centre narrow its financial year target.

Steel Authority of India's first phase follow-on public offer (FPO) is estimated to garner about Rs 8,000 crore.

SAIL Chairman CS Verma has on Monday said the first tranche of the company's 20 per cent share-sale programme could be launched in mid December and if that deadline is missed, the same will happen in January-February 2011.

The government plans to sell 5 per cent stake in ONGC and 10 per cent in IOC to raise about Rs 21,000 crore this financial year.

It plans to launch its disinvestment plan in a big way in the last quarter of current financial year, as it is chasing the target of raising Rs 40,000 crore by March 2011 through offloading its stake in state-owned firms.

"We are hopeful of achieving that target of (Rs 40,000 crore)", Bose said.

"The entire process is not limited to managing only fiscal deficit but goes to corporate governance and widespread ownership by public," he added.

Bose, however, did not divulge the break-up figures of these three FPOs.

The details petroleum major IOC's FPO will be decided shortly, he said, adding the firm is likely to invite applications for the appointment of merchant bankers in the next couple of days.

However, the government will not go ahead with the public issues of trading company MMTC and steel producer RINL in the current financial year.

"We will look at (RINL) it next year," he said.

On amount and time of the IOC public issue, he said the modalities would be decided later.

Similarly, the modalities for disinvestment of oil giant ONGC would be finalised in the coming days, he added.