Government to pare stake in IRCTC to meet FY21 disinvestment target1 min read . Updated: 21 Aug 2020, 05:26 AM IST
- The interested merchant bankers have been asked to submit their bids by September 10
- The Centre has set a divestment target of ₹2.1 trillion for FY21 including privatization of Air India and BPCL
The Centre has set the ball rolling to further pare its stake in Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp. Ltd (IRCTC) as it seeks to meet its ambitious disinvestment target for this fiscal year.
The government on Thursday invited bids from merchant bankers for the IRCTC stake sale which has exclusive rights to provide catering services and online bookings for the Indian Railways.
“The GoI intends to disinvest a part of the paid up equity capital of IRCTC out of its shareholding through the ‘Offer for Sale’ (OFS) method of shares by promoters through the stock exchanges, as per Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) rules and regulations," according to a request for proposal posted on the website of the department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM).
Merchant bankers have been asked to submit their bids by 10 September.
The Centre has set a divestment target of ₹2.1 trillion for FY21 including privatization of Air India and BPCL, but is yet to carry out any disinvestments so far. DIPAM extended the deadline to bid for Air India for the third time last month to 31 August in view of the covid-led disruptions in economic activity globally. It has also extended the deadline to privatise BPCL to 30 September.
In FY20, DIPAM missed the divestment target of ₹65,000 crore by ₹14,701 crore as it had to defer a number of OFS, including those of Coal India, SAIL, NMDC, PFC, IRCON and Hindustan Aeronautics due to stock market volatility. It completed the final deal of FY20 only last week with NTPC Ltd buying the government’s stakes in THDC India Ltd and North Eastern Electric Power Corp. Ltd (Neepco) for ₹11,500 crore.
When it was listed last October, IRCTC’s IPO was subscribed 112 times at a price band of ₹315-320. The stock surged nearly 128% on the BSE from its issue price of ₹320 apiece, the biggest stock market debut for any company in two years.
IRCTC raised ₹645 crore through the share sale. The government now holds a 87.40% stake, while it is mandated to lower it down to 75% to meet Sebi’s public holding norms. Shares of IRCTC fell 1.2% to ₹1,346.65 on the BSE on Thursday.