The Central Government will offload its 4 per cent share in Hindustan Copper Ltd. (HCL) on Friday, starting the Rs.30,000-crore disinvestment programme for the current fiscal.

“HCL disinvestment will happen on Friday. The first tranche is only going to be 4 per cent,” Disinvestment Secretary Halim Khan told reporters.

This will be the first stake sale in any public sector undertaking (PSU) in the current financial year, during which the government plans to raise Rs.30,000 crore by way of disinvestment.

The government had earlier planned to offload 9.59 per cent out of its 99.59 per cent equity in Hindustan Copper.

However, it has now decided to offload the copper major in two tranches. “We don’t want to flood the market with extra liquidity so we are divesting stakes in two tranches,” Mr. Khan said, adding that the floor price for the issue would be decided after the close of the equity market on Thursday. Mines Minister Dinsha Patel declined to give any projected price at which the shares of Hindustan Copper would be diluted. “There are some legal issues related to the price. So, we can’t say,” Mr. Patel said.

On September 14, the government had given its nod for disinvestment of 9.59 per cent equity of the company through an offer for sale of shares through stock exchanges.

After disinvestment, the government’s shareholding in Hindustan Copper would come down to 90 per cent.

The government aims to garner Rs.30,000 crore by selling its shares in the central PSUs in the current fiscal.

During the current fiscal, it is aiming to sell shares in Nalco, SAIL, MMTC, NMDC, NTPC and Oil India.

Asked which PSU would come in the block next, Mr. Khan said, “Hopefully, either NMDC or Oil India.”

If the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gives its nod for disinvestment of stake in NTPC at its scheduled meeting on Thursday, then the NTPC issue might come in January, he said.

“If CCEA decides, then yes, January is the most feasible time,” Mr. Khan added.

Keywords: Hind Copper

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