Centre garners over Rs 1,600 crore on BEL stake sale

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) In one of the most successful instances of its disinvestment drive, the Union government on Thursday raised over Rs 1,600 crore from the sale of 5 per cent stake in Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) after retail investors oversubscribed the shares on offer by more than 3.6 times.

“There has been overwhelming response from the retail investors, with the issue being subscribed 367 per cent in the retail category,” said a Finance Ministry statement.

Retail investors bid for over 81.87 lakh shares of the 22.34 lakh shares on offer. The issue was opened for retail investors for 20 per cent of the overall offer with a discount of 5 per cent on the cut-off price.

On Wednesday, the portion allocated to institutional investors was oversubscribed 2.34 times, with subscription worth Rs 3,100 crore.

“The OFS (offer for sale) got an enthusiastic participation from the non-retail investors, and the Issue was oversubscribed 234 per cent,” the statement said.

In all, the government sold 1.11 crore shares through the OFS route at a share floor price of Rs 1,498.

The likely receipt to the exchequer from the BEL offer for sale is around Rs 1,670 crore, the Ministry said.

“This is one of the highest instances of interest and participation shown by the investors including domestic institutional investors, foreign institutional investors and retail investors in any issue. The issue has been oversubscribed by 260 per cent,” the statement said.

The government’s has a divestment target of Rs 45,500 crore for the current fiscal ending March 31.