Salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Sons has emerged as the largest promoter of listed companies at the end of 2020. The company replaced central government as the largest promoter at the end of a tumultuous year for the equity market which saw benchmark indices hit record lows and highs.
This for the first time in two decades that the Centre has lost the title of largest promoter, Business Standard reported. The development came on the back of declining market capitalisation on state-owned companies.
Tata Sons' stake in the listed companies of the conglomerate rose 34.4 per cent on annual basis to Rs 9.28 lakh crore, the daily reported. In comparison, Centre's stake in public sector undertakings stood at Rs 9.24 lakh crore at the end of December 2020, 19.7 per cent lower than the year-ago period, it added.
Market valuation of government's stake in PSUs at the end of 2019 was almost 67 per cent high than Tata Sons' stakeholding in its group companies. Back in March 2015, Centre's stake in PSUs was two and a half times Tata Sons' holding in its companies.
At the end of 2020, the total market valuation of Tata group companies was Rs 15.6 lakh crore, as opposed to Rs 11.6 lakh crore in 2019. On the other hand, market valuation of listed PSUs last year stood at Rs 15.3 lakh crore, in comparison to Rs 18.6 lakh crore in the year before.
Last year saw hardly any upside in the PSU stocks. On account of institutional focus to ESG investing, frequent stake sale by the government, steep hit to earnings of oil and gas companies due to COVID and rising NPAs in public sector banks, PSU stocks tanked up to 48 per cent in last one year even as benchmark indices hit fresh highs.
The BSE PSU index had hit its 52-week high on January 2 in 2020. Among individual stocks, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, Union Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Coal India, Container Corporation Of India, Bank Of India, Indian Oil Corporation, Oil India and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation have fallen anywhere between 27 per cent and 48 per cent.