Centre to take call on NFL divestment in next fiscal

The government is likely to divest 14.71 per cent stake in National Fertilizers Ltd (NFL) in tranches in 2015-16.

The government wants the company to post profit for a few consecutive quarters before taking a call on selling a part of its stake, sources said.

'The divestment of stake in NFL would be feasible next year only. It is most likely to be done in phases,' a source said. The government at present owns close to 90 per cent stake in the company, while the remaining 10 per cent is with the public and institutions.

Shares of NFL closed at Rs 32.65 apiece at last close in BSE. At the prevailing price, sale of 14.71 per cent stake or 7.21 crore shares would fetch around Rs 235 crore to the exchequer. As per the latest Sebi guidelines, the government can have maximum stake of 75 per cent only in any company, including PSUs. This move of divesting stake in the NFL will help government to comply with this norm. Sources also added that company's plants in Panipat and Bathinda are under gradually stabilising as they have been recently converted in to gas-fired, but earnings remain under stress.

In July 2013, the government had raised Rs 101 crore from sale of 7.64 per cent stake in NFL, which got over-subscribed 1.55 times. In the April-June quarter of the current financial year, NFL has reported a net profit to Rs 18.02 crore, as against a Rs 9.80 crore loss registered in the October-December quarter. 


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