Mumbai: The government on Monday announced its intention to hire bankers for divesting a part of its stakes in state-owned trading firms MMTC Ltd and State Trading Corp. of India Ltd (STC).

The government will sell the stakes through the offer-for-sale (OFS) route, according to details available on the website of the Department of Disinvestment.

The divestment plans for MMTC and STC follow several other asset sale announcements in recent weeks by the government.

On 28 April, the government said it will sell stakes in state-run fertilizer firms Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd (RCF) and National Fertilizers Ltd (NFL).

In April, the government raised almost 2,700 crore through the divestment of a 11.36% stake in hydropower producer NHPC Ltd. The offer was subscribed 1.65 times.

Also in April, the government announced its intention of selling stakes in Oil India Ltd and iron ore mining company NMDC Ltd.

In 2015-16, the government mobilized about 18,277 crore through divestments in companies including Container Corp. of India Ltd, NTPC Ltd, Rural Electrification Corp. Ltd, Power Finance Corp. Ltd, Indian Oil Corp. Ltd, Dredging Corp. of India Ltd and Engineers India Ltd.

In his budget speech in February, finance minister Arun Jaitley said that the government aims to raise 56,500 crore by selling stakes in state-owned units in 2016-17, of which 36,000 crore will come from minority stake sales and 20,500 crore from strategic stake sales. It was 19% lower than the 69,500 crore the government had targeted in the last budget. That target was later scaled down.

The stake sale in MMTC will see the government divest 15% of its shareholding in the company. It currently owns 89.93% of the company. The MMTC divestment offer could fetch the government as much as 587 crore, based on a 15-day average stock price of 39.15.

MMTC deals in exports of minerals and ores and import of non-ferrous metals, fertilizers and bullion.

The 15% stake sale in STC will fetch the government around 91 crore. The government holds a 90% stake in STC.

Shares of MMTC gained 0.8% to 38 at the close of trading on the BSE, while STC fell 0.24% to 93.40 on a day the benchmark Sensex gained 1.82% to 25,688.86 points.

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