India weighs selling part of BPCL instead of full stake: Sources – Times of India

NEW DELHI: India is contemplating promoting as much as 1 / 4 of state-run refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd after failing to draw suitors for the entire agency, two officers mentioned, as the federal government’s divestment programme strikes slower than anticipated.
New Delhi is contemplating inviting bids for a 20%-25% stake in BPCL, as an alternative of an outright sale of its complete 52.98% holding, the 2 authorities officers, who declined to be named, informed Reuters.
The officers mentioned discussions in regards to the plan have been within the early levels.
Initially, the federal government had aimed to boost $8-$10 billion from promoting its full stake in BPCL. Having drawn up plans 4 years in the past, it invited bids in 2020, hoping main gamers equivalent to Russia’s Rosneft could be .
However Rosneft and Saudi Aramco didn’t bid, as low oil costs at the moment and weak demand curbed their funding plans.
The federal government officers mentioned even an element sale of BPCL was unlikely to be accomplished this fiscal yr as the method would take over 12 months.
Sale prospects have been hit by inconsistent insurance policies on petrol and diesel costs, considered one of them mentioned.
“There have been many points however most not too long ago petrol costs not being raised for 4 months between November and February have been presumed resulting from elections by the federal government,” the official mentioned.
India had elections in 5 states together with the bellwether Uttar Pradesh in February and pump costs solely began transferring up from March 22, by which era Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s Bharatiya Janata Celebration had gained in 4 out of 5 states.
The present dialogue started in spite of everything bidders had withdrawn from the method final month, each officers mentioned.
Non-public fairness agency Apollo World Administration and oil-to-metals conglomerate Vedanta Group have been the ultimate bidders, they mentioned.
The federal government, Vedanta and BPCL didn’t instantly reply to emails searching for remark. Apollo Group declined to remark.
The backtracking on BPCL’s full stake sale is symptomatic of sluggish progress within the authorities’s privatisation plans.
In 2020, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced plans to privatise most state-run corporations, together with banks, mining corporations and insurers.
However little progress has been made, and each officers mentioned the federal government had deferred plans to promote every other banks this fiscal yr aside from IDBI Financial institution, which is majority owned by Life Insurance coverage Corp of India. LIC sank on its market debut on Tuesday after the federal government offered a 3.5% stake.

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