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Friday, August 25, 2006

Power Ministry pushes for IPOs of PFC, NHPC, REC, PGCIL

With disinvestment on hold, the Power Ministry is now seeking approval for initial public Offerings, IPOs of PFC, NHPC, REC and PowerGrid in this fiscal without offloading any government stake in the companies, reports agencies.

Power Finance Corporation, which had earlier received cabinet nod for an IPO of 10% along with 5% sale of government equity, is now likely to go for only fresh equity, official sources told agencies.

Sources said the Power Ministry has written to Cabinet Secretary B K Chaturvedi, asking permission for PFC to go ahead with its initial public offer of 10%.

PFC had in June this year filed a draft prospectus with market regulator Sebi for the proposed IPO, but the issue was delayed after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh put on hold all disinvestment decisions.

Sources said besides PFC, the Ministry is also targeting to issue fresh equity of up to 24% in National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and Power Grid Corporation of India.

A Cabinet note for the IPOs of these PSUs is yet to be moved, sources said, adding even if Cabinet approval is granted for issuing 24% equity, the companies would initially go for only 10%.

The public offers of NHPC, REC, and PGCIL as also North-Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) are targeted within this financial year.

However, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde refused to give any timeframe for IPOs of these companies.

"The IPOs are in the process, it will take time. I cannot say if it will happen in this fiscal," Shinde said on the sidelines of a conference here.

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