SAIL's Rs 8,000 cr FPO to hit market by March

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New Delhi, Feb 11: Indian government stated that state-run SAIL's proposed Rs 8,000 crore follow-on public offer, which had got delayed due to issues with merchant bankers, will now hit the capital markets in Mar 2010.

"In present conditions, SAIL FPO is possible by the fiscal-end. We are looking at that, but we will have to take market conditions into account," said Steel Secretary P K Misra on the sidelines of a conference on metals and minerals.

The issue was earlier planned to hit the markets by the middle of the month.

"Issues like market conditions, FPO of ONGC, etc, will be considered before deciding a final date for the Maharatna firm's share sale," he added.

When asked whether the controversy surrounding the four merchant bankers has been the reason for delay in hitting the markets, the Steel Secretary said, "I agree that the FPO has got delayed a little bit due to it (the merchant bankers issue) but we have to consider market conditions as well."

The Department of Disinvestment, under the Ministry of Finance, on other hand is keen to complete the FPO as scheduled to ensure that the government meets the target of garnering Rs 40,000 crore from sale of equity in PSUs.

The government intends to sell its 5 percent stake in the company to raise an estimated Rs 4,000 crore. The steel giant would issue fresh equity of the same proportion to raise a similar amount. Scrips of the company were trading on Friday at Rs 156.50 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange at 1430 hours, down 2.83 percent from the previous close.


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