Centre to sell 3% stake in Coal India on Wednesday, unions oppose

Kolkata, Oct 30 : State-run Coal India on Tuesday said the Centre has proposed to sell 3 per cent of its stake in the company on Wednesday through an offer for sale (OFS) at a floor price of Rs 266 a share, which could fetch the exchequer about Rs 5,000 crore.

It said the Centre will have an "over subscription" option to sell additional 6 per cent stake in the 'Maharatna' public sector undertakings on November 1 and if it is offered, the government could get approximately another Rs 10,000 crore.

The OFS of 3 per cent stake, or 18.62 crore equity shares, will be offered to non-retail investors.

Retail investors, who would be able to bid for additional 6 per cent stake (or 37.24 crore equity shares) sale, can get a discount of 5 per cent of cut-off price.

Such non-retail investors who have placed their bids on Wednesday sale and have chosen to carry forward their un-allotted bids to November 1 sale, will be allowed to revise their bids.

Taken together, the 9 per cent stake sale in the Kolkata-headquartered company could fetch about Rs 15,000 crore to the government.

The Centre currently holds 78.32 per cent stake in Coal India while public holding is 21.68 per cent.

The OFS programme will allow the miner to conform to the minimum public holding norm of 25 per cent.

Shares of Coal India on Tuesday closed at Rs 277.10 apiece, down 3.47 per cent on the BSE.

Workers' unions are opposing the government's move and would observe protest demonstration on Wednesday.

"The floor price per share, set for the OFS, has been discounted by over 4 per cent from the closing price on Tuesday.

The offer of 3 per cent stake sale will be oversubscribed and accordingly, six per cent stake sale would also be offered.

We are opposing the government's decision," CITU-affiliated AICWF's General Secretary D.D Ramanandan told IANS.

"Last time, the OFS was oversubscribed by 28 times and the government mopped up Rs 23,000 crore.

We will mark a protest demonstrations tomorrow against the current stake sale programme," he added.



Source: IANS