eGoM to decide on IOC share sale price tomorrow

A panel of ministers headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram will decide tomorrow the

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price at which Indian Oil shares will be sold to ONGC and Oil India.

The government had offered a 10 per cent shareholding in IOC to ONGC and OIL at a discount of about 10 per cent to the current price.

"The EGoM on IOC disinvestment will meet tomorrow to decide on price of sale to ONGC and OIL," an official said.

Earlier this week, the board of state-owned Oil India Ltd (OIL) approved the acquisition of a 5 per cent stake in Indian Oil Corp (IOC) from the government at a discount to the market price.

IOC shares closed at Rs 247.95 on the BSE yesterday, up 0.20 per cent, valuing the company at Rs 60,201 crore.

At a 10 per cent discount to the current price, the government's sale of 24.27 crore shares (or a 10 per cent stake) in IOC would fetch over Rs 5,400 crore.

IOC shares have gained more than Rs 35 apiece since January 16, when the EGoM on disinvestment cleared the stake sale in the nation's largest oil firm through a block deal.

The EGoM had then cleared the stake sale at current market price, plus/minus 1 per cent.

ONGC and OIL, however, wrote to the Petroleum Ministry saying they would each buy a 5 per cent stake in IOC at the six-month average traded price and not at the current rate.

Although the Cabinet had originally cleared the stake sale in IOC through an offer for sale, the Finance Ministry had to go in for the block deal route after opposition from the Petroleum Ministry.

A trade with a minimum 5 lakh shares or a minimum value of Rs 5 crore executed through a single transaction on a separate window of a stock exchange constitutes a block deal.

A block deal order for a scrip should be within a range of 1 per cent from the ruling market price (last traded price).

ONGC currently holds an 8.77 per cent stake in IOC.

The oil ministry had argued that IOC shares should not be sold through an offer for sale as the current price did not reflect the right valuation of the company.

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