Millennium Post

Govt gets over `1,600 cr via BEL stake sale

The government on Thursday raised over Rs 1,600 crore from its 5 per cent stake sale in Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) after retail investors bid more than 3.6 times the shares offered to them.

Retail investors bid for over 81.87 lakh shares, or 3.67 times, of the 22.33 lakh shares on offer, as per NSE data.

Individual investors bid for over 2.09 crore shares as against 89.34 lakh shares, or 2.34 times, the number reserved for them in the two-day offer for sale which closed on Thursday.

The portion allocated to institutional investors was bid 2.34 times on Wednesday, with subscription worth Rs 3,100 crore on the first day of the issue. Overall, the government sold 1.11 crore shares through the OFS route at a floor price of Rs 1,498. With all-round participation from institutional and retail buyers in BEL stake sale, the government is set to garner Rs 1,600 crore once shares are alloted to the bidders.

Finance Ministry officials said BEL stake sale saw "record bidding" in both institutional and retail category. In last three disinvestment, retail portion was over-subscribed heavily. BEL stock closed at Rs 1,507.10, down 0.21 per cent, on the BSE on Thursday. The government currently holds 74.41 per cent in BEL. Earlier this fiscal, the government had raised about Rs 1,800 crore through share buyback of BEL. With the BEL stake sale, government's disinvestment kitty would swell to nearly Rs 33,000 crore. The government hopes to raise Rs 45,500 crore in the current fiscal as per Revised Estimate (RE).

BEL is the second government OFS in 2017, the last being the sale of its 10 per cent stake in Manganese Ore (India) Ltd (MOIL) raising Rs 480 crore. The government had sold 15 per cent in NBCC to mobilise Rs 2,200 crore in October 2016, 7 per cent in Hindustan Copper to raise Rs 400 crore in September and 11.36 per cent in NHPC to garner Rs 2,716 crore in April.
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