After some hiccups and a late government intervention, the sale of government's 5 per cent stake in ONGC through auction finally managed to sail through and garner estimated proceeds of over Rs. 12,600 crore to partly meet the disinvestment target for this fiscal.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee termed the stake sale a “great success.”

“Our latest figure [from auction of ONGC shares] is now Rs. 12,666 crore, which comes to 98.3 per cent subscription,” he told reporters late in the night.

Late in the night, BSE and NSE, on whose platforms the auction was conducted, said in a joint statement: “The ONGC offer for sale was completed today [on Thursday] using the secondary market mechanism created by NSE and BSE. The final demand was for 42.04 crore shares, against an offer of 42.77 crore shares.”

The total bid came to 42.07 crore shares, which was estimated to fetch Rs. 12,666 crore, the statement said.

Hiccups

The auction, however, faced some hiccups initially, as at the end of the auction at 3.30 p.m., the final bid tally was only for 29.22 crore shares against 42.77 crore offered for sale at a minimum price of Rs. 290 apiece.

During the day, the bourses updated bids every half-hour, but stopped doing so 10 minutes before the close of the auction.

Hectic parleys were held for more than four hours after the end of the auction and a final tally of the bids remained elusive for some time.

As reports earlier in the day were not encouraging with bids worth only about Rs 8,500 crore, the government appeared to have nudged public sector giants, including LIC, to pitch in with their bids and help the issue sail through.

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