Indian government invites bids to sell 63.75% stake in Shipping Corporation of India

The Indian government today announced invitation of bids to sell its 63.75% stake in Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) to a private investor, in a key asset sale that was pushed to a later date due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In a statement on Tuesday, the government reported that the deadline for submitting initial bids would be February 13.

The government plans to shed about 296.9 million shares, its entire stake of 63.75%, according to a newspaper advertisement Tuesday. Investors can submit bids individually or as part of a consortium. At current stock prices, SCI’s total market value is pegged at ₹4,000 crore. Shares were up 3% at ₹85.30.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in November in the previous year gave in-principle approval for the strategic divestment of Shipping Corp. However, the plans were not materialised due to the pandemic. The 2020-21 Budget has set aim for a record divestment target of ₹2.1 lakh crore.

The government has so far secured capital of ₹11,006 crore through minority stake sale in CPSEs this fiscal year. The strategic sale process of BPCL and Air India is in process and both the companies have received “multiple” expressions of Interest (EoI) from potential buyers.

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