Mumbai, Feb. 27: Backed strongly by Indian and foreign institutions, the government stake sale in five companies, including IBP and Gail, is set for a grand finish.
Enthused by the buoyant response from investors, disinvestment minister Arun Shourie met Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee this evening, presumably to apprise him of the selloff progress.
While the IPCL offer closed today with an oversubscription of close to 3.16 times, Gail (India) Ltd opened its account and was oversubscribed 1.1 times on the first day itself.
The bulk of the IPCL offers came from foreign institutions. Merchant bankers claim that around 70 per cent of the offer were bid by foreign investors. However, retail investors have bid for only 4 per cent.
In Gail, one bid alone was worth Rs 400 crore and several others around Rs 100-150 crore. Bids poured in from overseas investors who have taken a fancy for the stock. Some foreign roadshows are still to be completed and merchant bankers expect the response for Gail to surpass that for IPCL by a wide margin.
The Dredging Corporation issue was oversubscribed 1.23 times with bids for 69.41 lakh shares registered against 56 lakh shares on offer.
The CMC issue was oversubscribed more than six times with bids for more than 2.38 crore shares against 39 lakh shares on offer.
The IBP issue is expected to be oversubscribed by two or three times with two days to go before the offer closes.
The government has set a floor price of Rs 170 per share for the sale of 24 per cent equity in IPCL while Rs 475 per share has been fixed for CMC Ltd where it is selling 26 per cent.
In case of IBP, the floor price has been fixed at Rs 620 and for Gail at Rs 185; in case of Dredging Corporation a price band of Rs 385-400 has been mandated.
ONGC, where the government is selling 10 per cent stake, will hit the market on March 5.