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Government to take call on Nalco stake sale in January: P Chidambaram

The government will take a call on 12.5 per cent stake sale in aluminium major Nalco in January after the company's third quarter (October-December) financial results.

PTI|
Updated: Nov 08, 2012, 05.53 PM IST
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NEW DELHI: The government will take a call on 12.5 per cent stake sale in aluminium major Nalco in January after the company's third quarter (October-December) financial results, said Finance Minister P Chidambaram here today.

"We will come back on Nalco as soon as the Q3 performance is available," the Minister told reporters.

The 12.5 per cent stake sale of Nalco is expected to fetch over Rs 1,500 crore to the exchequer at the current market price.

On why the government decided to postpone Nalco stake sale, he said, "these are case specific decisions. It was postponed because of some special factors affecting Nalco in the month of October.

"Therefore, the merchant bankers recommended that we wait until Q3 results are available. When the Q3 performance (report) is there, we will go to the market," he added.

This is the second postponement in a row. Last month, the government had deferred public issue of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) after the Steel Ministry argued that the issue price suggested by merchant bankers was less than the book value of the company.

Mines Minister Dinsha Patel had yesterday said Nalco's stake sale was being postponed in view of the Q2 financial results which were not reflective of the true position of the aluminium major.

The government aims to raise Rs 30,000 crore by way of disinvestment in the current fiscal. But with seven months of the fiscal already over, it might find it difficult to meet the target.

Besides Nalco, the government is planning to sale stakes in Oil India, MMTC, Hindustan Copper, SAIL and NMDC.

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