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Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002

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Maruti may file public issue draft prospectus next month

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Nov. 25

WITH the capital market showing signs of improvement, it may be possible for Maruti to go ahead and file its draft prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) within a month's time.

This was stated by the Disinvestment Secretary, Mr Pradeep Baijal, here on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Mr Baijal said, "If all issues related to the Maruti are sorted out, then one could see the Maruti public issue prospectus next month".

Regarding the problems that have cropped up in the process of Nalco disinvestment, Mr Baijal said that the process of strategic sale of equity in the public sector aluminium company would start moving ahead once the contentious issues were sorted out and plant visits by potential bidders facilitated.

Mr Baijal admitted that the disinvestment target of Rs 12,000 crore set for 2002-03 would not be met. "Whenever there is a rethinking or review, the target is the casualty," he said.

He reiterated the Government stand that in the given circumstances the strategic sale route was the best way to maximize the value of the PSU shareholding.

In cases where the PSU stake had been sold in the market, the P/E ratio had been around 4.6, while in the case of strategic sale it had been found that the P/E ratio was 11.89, he said and pointed out that the disinvestment exercise had resulted in increasing the combined market capitalisation of all PSU shares from around Rs 90,000 crore to Rs 1,70,000 crore.

He added that post-disinvestment, the market capitalisation of the disinvested companies had increased four times.

The Secretary of the Department of Company Affairs, Mr Vinod Dhal, said that the Companies Act had proved to be toothless.

He said that efforts were on to liberate small private limited companies by relieving them from some aspects of compliance with the Companies Act and the focus would be turned on public companies.

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