The Government’s disinvestment drive got a major boost on Friday with the stake sale in Coal India being oversubscribed by 1.069 times. The offer-for-sale (OFS) through stock exchanges fetched ₹22,557 crore.

“It is not only the biggest issue ever, but it is almost equal to the highest collection for the whole year in any year,” said Disinvestment Secretary, Aradhana Johri.

Retail participation tepid

However, the offer received a moderate response from retail investors, with only 5.56 crore shares out of the allocated portion of 12.63 crore shares being subscribed.

Arun Kejriwal, Founder KRIS Research, said: “The retail investor is not in a position to electronically transfer ₹1-2 lakh intraday. To get a better response, there should be a shift of OFS to the secondary market, where the broker takes the risk of allowing a client to buy or sell a share.”

Johri said she would meet with officials from market regulator SEBI on creating awareness for retail investors, besides reviewing the system of a notice period for OFS.

General category investors, including FIIs, mutual funds, banks and insurance companies, bid for 1.2 times the shares reserved for them. Of the 50.53 crore shares on the block for this group, bids came in for 60.83 crore shares.

The indicative price for the non-retail portion was ₹358.50 per share while the indicative price for retail investors was ₹360.11 per share.

Piyush Jain, Equity Research Analyst, Morningstar India, said: “The stock presents uncertainty with government ability to fast-track rail connectivity. However, we believe Coal India provides a good cash return opportunity for dividend and long-term focused investors.”

Coal India shares fell 3.81 per cent to close at ₹360.85 on the BSE.