Disinvestment Current Affairs

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NALCO Disinvestment: Government raises Rs 1200 crore

The Central Government has raised Rs. 1,200 crore by divesting 9.2% of paid-up capital in National Aluminum Company Ltd. (NALCO). With this disinvestment, Government’s shareholding in NALCO has become 65.37%.

Disinvestment involves the sale of Government’s share in the Public Sector Undertakings. In disinvestment, the government sells only a part of the equity which is essentially less than 51% so that ownership and management rights can be possessed by the Government itself.

Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), Ministry of Finance, has set a record target of Rs. 72,500 crore to be realized through disinvestment in this fiscal. This target follows the 2016-17 all-time high achievement of Rs. 46,247 crore.

For the fourth time in a row, retail investors out-performed institutional investors. It shows that retail investor backs disinvestments of CPSEs. In fact it satisfies one of the objectives of disinvestment policy of the government which aims to make PSU shareholding as broad-based as possible so that nation’s wealth is shared by its citizens. In this disinvestment exercise, the government for the first time has used the green shoe option (over-subscription option) since the modified OFS procedure has been put in place by SEBI in 2016. DIPAM exercised the green shoe option owing to the overwhelming response from the market.

Greenshoe option is a special provision in an IPO prospectus. Green shoe option permits the underwriters to sell more share to the investors than originally planned by the issuer. This option is exercised if the demand for a security issue is higher than the expected.

DIPAM

The Department of Disinvestment was set up as a separate Department on 10th December 1999 and functions as one of the Departments under the Ministry of Finance since 2004. In 2016, the Department of Disinvestment was renamed as Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). DIPAM advises the Union Government in the matters of the financial restructuring of PSUs and also for attracting investment through capital markets. It deals with all matters relating to the sale of Union Government’s equity through private placement or offer for sale or any other mode in the erstwhile Central PSUs.

NALCO

National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) is a Navratna CPSE functioning under Ministry of Mines. It was established on 7th January 1981. It has integrated and diversified operations in mining, metal and power.

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Government shifts disinvestment advising role to Department of Economic Affairs

The Union Government has transferred the advising role of Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) on utilisation of the proceeds from disinvestment to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).

This announcement comes after the Union Cabinet approved an alternative mechanism to decide the modalities to do with stake sales in PSUs, so as to speed up the process and to streamline the disinvestment process.

Key Facts
  • The DEA in the Union Finance Ministry will now be in charge of financial policy in regard to the utilisation of proceeds of disinvestment channelised into the National Investment Fund (NIF).
  • The National Investment Fund was created in 2005 in which the proceeds from the disinvestment of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) were to be channelised.
  • During his Budget speech 2016-17, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced renaming the previously known Department of Investment as DIPAM.

Earlier the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had given its approval to Alternative Mechanism to decide the modalities to do with stake sales in PSUs. Under this mechanism, the quantum of disinvestment in a particular Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSE) will be decided on a case-by-case basis subject to Government retaining 51% equity and management control.

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CCEA approves listing of five general insurance PSUs at the stock exchanges

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its ‘in principle’ approval for listing the five Public Sector General Insurance Companies (2016-17) owned General Insurance Companies in the stock exchanges.

They are New India Assurance Company Ltd, United India Insurance Company Ltd, Oriental Insurance Company Ltd, National Insurance Company Ltd and General Insurance Corporation of India.

The shareholding of these PSGICs will be divested from 100% to 75% in one or more tranches over a period of time as per Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) rules and regulations.

Significance of listing of PSGICs
  • Bring transparency and equity in the companies functioning as listing on the stock exchange necessitates compliance requirements of SEBI.
  • Improve corporate governance and risk management practices leading to improved efficiency. It will lead to greater focus on growth and earnings.
  • Open the way for the companies to raise resources from the capital market to meet their fund requirements to expand their businesses, instead of being dependent on the Government for capital infusion.
  • Divestment in these companies will help government in raising resources and portion of the funds can be used by the company for expansion.
Background

The Union Finance Minister in his 2016-17 Budget speech had announced that public shareholding in Government-owned companies is a means of ensuring higher levels of transparency and accountability. In order to promote this objective, the general insurance companies owned by the Government will be listed on the stock exchanges.

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