Indian Oil stake sale oversubscribed despite tepid retail demand

New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) On a day of extreme market turbulence, the government’s proposed 10 percent stake sale in Indian Oil Corp (IOC) on Monday was over-subscribed, despite retail investors picking up less than a fifth of the quota.

Institutional investors bid for 27.85 crore shares, against 19.42 crore shares on offer, making this part oversubscribed 1.43 times.

The IOC shares sale received bids for over 28.74 crore shares, representing 1.18 times the 24.28 crore shares on offer.

At the floor price of Rs.387 a share, the sale of 24,27,95,248 shares on offer would fetch about Rs.9,500 crore to the government.

Offered with 5 percent discount to retail shareholders, retail demand, however, remained tepid with bids for just 88.88 lakh shares coming in against 4.85 crore shares on offer, leaving this part under-subscribed at 18 percent.

The IOC stake sale comes on a day when the Bombay Stock Exchange went through its steepest fall ever, surpassing the fall of of 1,408 points, or 7.4 percent, at the close of trading session on January 21, 2008.

The government, which currently holds 68.57 percent shares in IOC, has an ambitious fiscal disinvestment target for this fiscal of Rs.41,000 crore through stake sale in public sector units, and another Rs.28,500 crore through strategic stake sale by transfer of management control.

Earlier this month, IOC reported it has more than doubled its first quarter net profit to Rs.6,436 crore, compared to the Rs.2,522.94 crore earned in the year-ago period, on the back of higher refining margins.

However, sales in the quarter fell to Rs.101,306.82 crore from Rs.124,956.69 crore in the same first quarter last fiscal, pulled down by plunging oil prices.

IOC shares closed on Monday at Rs.378.25 a share, down 4.11 percent over its previous close on the BSE.

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