The offer-for-sale of Nalco shares on Friday at the BSE and the NSE was technically oversubscribed and may fetch the Government a little over Rs 600 crore.

According to sources in the Government, the auction trend suggested that the disinvestment target of Rs 30,000 crore may be difficult to achieve. “The market response is still lukewarm and the Government has to complete a few more disinvestment exercises within a fortnight,” said a market analyst.

The auction saw bids subscribing to over 15.69 crore shares of the PSU at an average price of Rs 40.05 a share, against the floor price of Rs 40. This represented 121.79 per cent of base issue size on offer. However, the subscription was just 60.89 per cent of the total issue size.

The Centre had divided the offer-for-sale into two equal parts — the base size (5 per cent) with an additional offer of5 per cent as optional. Sources involved in the auction process told Business Line, the Centre now has the option to accept the bids over that of the base size. “The Government is likely to accept the bids as they were above the floor price of Rs 40. A formal announcement is expected by Monday,” said an official of a merchant banker.

The Empowered Group of Ministers took the decision on floor price on Wednesday, as merchant bankers were sceptic about the response to the entire offer at or above the floor price, a top company official said. “It was decided that once the bids cover the base size of offer, the additional offer portion would be triggered. However, bids acceptance are subject to floor price,” merchant banking sources said.

On Friday, Nalco stock finished at Rs 40.35, down 8.81 per cent on the BSE.

jayanta.mallick@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 15, 2013)
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