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SAIL selloff gathers pace

New Delhi, June 23: The government today started the process of divesting its stake in Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) by calling merchant bankers to meet the officials of the department of disinvestment and steel ministry.

The sale of a 5 per cent stake, or about 20.65 crore shares, is expected to fetch about Rs 2,000 crore.

The SAIL shares today closed at Rs 93.10, down 0.85 per cent, on the BSE on a day most large-cap stocks fell because of jitters over the Iraq crisis impacting crude prices.

The government owns 80 per cent in SAIL. “The move to sell SAIL shares is a good one. The Congress government, too, had thought of doing it. However, we need to be careful to ensure that the shares are sold in the retail market and no investor tries to acquire such a controlling stake as to challenge the state in the running of the steel mills, which along with our PSU banks and other core sector firms, helped us to tide over the global meltdown,” Abhijit Mukherjee, Congress MP and former SAIL senior executive, said.

 
 
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