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Saturday, Nov 06, 2004

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NTPC debuts at 22 pc premium

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Nov. 5

STRONG buying on leading index-weighted shares drove the stock markets up with the BSE-Sensex touching a six-month high.

The Sensex closed with a gain of 58.48 points at 5,891.36. The Government's move to lift the freeze on prices of petrol, diesel and petroleum products did augur well for oil refining and marketing companies.

The highlight of today's session was the debut of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) on the bourses. NTPC shares listed at a 13 per cent premium at Rs 70 per share, against the fixed issue price of Rs 62 a share, on the first day of trading on BSE.

"It was the most actively traded counter on both the bourses. Totally, Rs 757 crore worth NTPC shares were traded on the BSE, while the turnover on the NSE was Rs 1,700 crore. NTPC accounted for one-third of today's total turnover on both the exchanges," said a senior analyst.

The share hit a high of Rs 88 on the NSE and Rs 76.15 on the BSE and closed at Rs 75.55 a share. NTPC now is the third largest company based on market capitalisation on the stock exchanges.

On the NSE, totally 23.25 crore shares traded of which delivery was 49.61 per cent. On the BSE, 10.33 crore shares were traded and delivery was for 5.51 crore shares or 53.34 per cent.

The Government-owned company had sold 10.5 per cent of stake through a book-built public offer between October 7 and 14 with an aim to raise Rs 5,360 crore for the Government.

NTPC's IPO of 86.58 crore shares last month, at a range of Rs 52 and Rs 62 a share, was subscribed 12 times, with strong demand from global insurance companies and hedge funds, according to investment bankers.

Over 1.41 million retail investors had subscribed for the NTPC issue. The issue was the first mega issue after the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government took over. The issue was the first sale of equity in a Government-owned company by the new Government and the second largest after Tata Consultancy Services' IPO in the new financial year.

NTPC has said it raised money through its IPO to add six new power generation projects that will increase its total generation capacity by 6,690 MW.

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