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Siddharth Pradhan, the additional secretary – disinvestment, spoke to CNBC-TV18 about the government’s plans to raise money, going ahead.
He says that the government approving PSU buyback is only an enabling clause and the final decision shall rest with the company board.
Below the edited transcript. Also watch the accompanying video.
Q: Are you happy with the progress of the ONGC divestment. What is the latest you can fill us in on?
A: ONGC offer for sale will close at 3:30 pm and in the next hour or so, the bids will be on first come- first serve.
Q: The other big news that came in today was the government approving PSU buybacks and particularly the one that are cash rich. Which companies do you think are likely to go for it and are you likely to raise any kind of funds in this fiscal itself?
A: Let me make it clear, this is only enabling clause for the companies, and the call has to be taken by the board of directors of the company. We have nothing to do with that. The company has to take a call whether they want to buyback the shares so that the valuation increases.
Q: In your discussion with the PSUs have any PSU indicated they are wiliness to do it?
A: We don’t have any list in this regard; it is for the individual companies and the board of directors to take the decision; they have to take a call.
Q: Since this is coming largely in lieu of divestment, there would be some amount that the government is going with respect to hopes to raise them before the year is out. Do you expect some buyback to be done; is there any amount in mind?
A: I do not have the list and we are not concerned at this stage. It is for the concerned administrative ministries and the PSUs will take a call in this regard.
Q: In respect to divestment is there any more on your table?
A: Not at this point.
Q: For the current year?
A: We may have one-two more issues we are working on that; hopefully after the successive completion of this issue, we will think about that probably tomorrow or Monday.
Q: Can you give us some indication of what PSUs are likely to be taken up first?
A: Let us complete ONGC first, after that we could have some other sectors – we have not zeroed on, but it could be Oil India also.
Q: Any target amount that you have in mind that you hope you can raise through this route?
A: Not at this stage.
ONGC stock price
On November 27, 2015, at 15:46 hrs Oil and Natural Gas Corporation was quoting at Rs 235.25, up Rs 0.05, or 0.02 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 390.60 and the 52-week low was Rs 208.00.
The company's trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 20.81 per share as per the quarter ended September 2015. The stock's price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 11.3. The latest book value of the company is Rs 169.02 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company is 1.39.
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