Millennium Post

Govt to sell 3% stake in BPCL to raise Rs1,800 cr

The government plans to sell 3 per cent stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd, the nation's <g data-gr-id="22">second largest</g> state oil firm, this fiscal to raise around Rs 1,800 crore. Finance Ministry has moved a Cabinet note for inter-ministerial consultations for selling 2.16 crore shares in BPCL through a public offer, official sources said.

At <g data-gr-id="25">current</g> trading price of Rs 820, the stake sale will fetch the government over Rs 1,778 crore. The government holds 54.93 per cent stake in BPCL. Divesting 3 per cent interest will help <g data-gr-id="23">government</g> keep its shareholding well above 51 per cent -- the minimum strategic holding it has decided to keep in <g data-gr-id="24">key</g> public sector unit.

BPCL operates refineries at Mumbai and Kochi with a combined capacity of 21.5 million tonnes. It also has a 6 million tonnes a year unit at Bina in Madhya Pradesh in <g data-gr-id="26">joint</g> venture with Oman Oil. It has 12,809 petrol pumps, about one-fourth of the total petrol pumps in the country. When contacted, BPCL Chairman and Managing Director S Varadarajan said the company has "heard from the government on a possible stake sale."

"They (government) were planning this even three years back. It is up to them to decide on divestments and we have sent our general views," he said. The government is targeting Rs 69,500 crore from stake sale in PSUs this fiscal. Of this, Rs 41,000 crore is to come from minority share sale in PSUs and Rs 28,500 crore from <g data-gr-id="28">strategic</g> stake sale. Although the Department of Disinvestment (DOD), under the Finance Ministry, has got approval from Cabinet for selling minority stakes worth about Rs 50,000 crore in a host of PSUs, it has only been able to divest stake in one company -- REC -- so far this fiscal. 
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