The government is looking to sell 5%-10% in Coal India Ltd., Hindustan Zinc Ltd., Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd. via the so-called offer-for-sale mechanism, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t yet public. In all, five firms could be chosen, including a listed entity under the railway ministry, they added.
At current prices, sales at the lower end of the range could fetch the government some Rs 16,500 crore ($2 billion), according to Bloomberg calculations. Local stocks are at a record high, supported by a healthy pace of economic growth, and the cash raised will help Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration fund its subsidy bill that has surged partly because of the war in Ukraine.
India had budgeted Rs 65,000 crore from such asset sales in the year through March, but has so far raised just over a third of the target, mainly from the $2.7 billion initial public offering of Life Insurance Corp. in May. Roadshows have started to gauge investor interest in the stake sales, the people said. A spokesperson for the Finance Ministry could not be reached for comment.
Coal India jumped about 46% in the past year, while Rashtriya Chemicals gained 58%, outstripping the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex’s roughly 6% advance.