ONGC hopes share sale in June-July

ONGC hopes share sale in June-July

New Delhi: State-run energy explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp hopes to launch its follow on share sale in June-July, Chairman A.K. Hazarika said on Friday.

The government, which owns 74.14% of ONGC, plans to sell 5% in the offering that could raise about $2.6 billion at current market prices. The sale was initially planned by 15 March, but has been delayed.

Hazarika said the delay was due to insufficient number of government nominees on its board. “We hear that this issue would be resolved soon," he said.

Shares in ONGC, valued at $52 billion, have fallen 15.4% this year, compared with a 9.6% drop in the main stock index.

“Our annual accounts will be ready by end-May and if by then necessary approvals are received from the government including appointment of independent directors, we may launch FPO (follow on public offer) in June -July," Hazarika said.

The decision rests with the divestment ministry, which spearheads India’s plan to partially sell government stakes in companies to raise resources for social spendings and bridging fiscal deficit.

India aims to raise Rs40,000 crore ($9 billion) through such stake sales in the coming fiscal year begining April.

The government has raised Rs22,000 crore by selling stakes in six state-run companies in the fiscal year that ends 31 March, through three initial public offerings and three follow-on sales in already listed companies.