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Business News/ Market / Stock-market-news/  NHAI IPO? Nitin Gadkari says confident of going public this year

In an attempt to raise Rs10 trillion for large infrastructure projects, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is looking at measures including a public listing for state-run National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

Transport minister Nitin Gadkari said at an event in Mumbai that the government wants to take NHAI public and is working on the proposal, PTI reported.

Gadkari said the government was confident of getting investor subscriptions of up to Rs10 trillion. The remarks were in the backdrop of the impressive investor response to the Rs1,560 crore initial public offering (IPO) of Cochin Shipyard Ltd, which was oversubscribed 76 times.

“NHAI is waiting for the ratings and once they are declared we would be ready to launch our IPO. We are confident of launching it this year itself," said NHAI chairman Deepak Kumar.

The proposal comes as bank credit is drying up for large infrastructure projects. The NDA government, on its part, is moving ahead with its divestment agenda and has budgeted raising Rs72,500 crore through disinvestment in central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) in 2017-18.

A senior government official aware of the strategy said on condition of anonymity that the road ministry planned to raise Rs10 trillion through a combination of instruments like NHAI bonds, IPO and other avenues “depending upon the market".

Mint reported on 12 September that the government planned to fund large infrastructure projects by raising money in tranches of Rs10,000 crore by selling 10-year bonds at a coupon of 7.25-7.75%.

India needs massive funding to bankroll its new integrated infrastructure programme, which involves building roads, railways, waterways and airports.

The Sagarmala programme for ports envisages Rs8 trillion of investment until 2035. To finance the Bharatmala programme for roads, India would require Rs10 trillion—the largest outlay for a government road construction programme ever.

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Updated: 19 Sep 2017, 12:13 AM IST
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