With the Greece crisis appearing to have tided over and financial markets stabilising, the government is gearing up for divesting its stake in at least 10 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs). The Department of Disinvestment (DoD) has called a meeting of merchant bankers and selling brokers on Thursday.

Not wanting to create hysteria around the stake-sale, the government is not willing to disclose the names of the companies nor is it committing to a timeline.

“As a former investor, I can tell you that in these matters you will just have to wait to see what we do because we are not going to tip you on it,” Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha, had said at an event organised by BusinessLine last week when asked with the first quarter of the current fiscal over, whether there will be a repetition of last fiscal performance when the disinvestment actually kicked off only in the third quarter.

So far, the government could sell 5 per cent stake in one CPSE -- Rural Electrification Corporation -- during the current fiscal, while there are over 15 CPSE in the pipeline for disinvestment.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has already approved selling government’s stake in ONGC, BHEL, Nalco, NMDC, Indian Oil, NTPC, Hindustan Aeronautic (HAC) and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL). Now, along with NTPC, NMDC and Nalco from the approved list, the DoD has identified seven more CPSEs and clubbed all the 10 into two baskets for appointment of merchant bankers and selling brokers.

Ahead of deadline

Although the last date for submission of bids by merchant bankers and selling brokers is July 24, the DoD has called a pre-bid meeting on Thursday to address various queries. It has been made clear that while a single consolidated bid is invited for the basket of companies as a whole, the disinvestment process will be carried out individually for each company comprising the basket as decided by the government from time to time.

Apart from HAC and RINL, share sale in the CPSEs will be carried out through the offer for sale or auction methods. There will be IPOs for HAC and RINL as these are not listed companies. The government has set a target of ₹61,500 through disinvestment.