BHEL divestment plan put on hold: Praful Patel

The government has deferred its plans for divesting stake in Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) amidst market volatility, minister for heavy industries and public enterprises Praful Patel said today.

''BHEL disinvestment at the moment is on hold….There is no immediate plan considering the current market conditions and overall mood about the power sector,'' Patel said on the sidelines of a CII function.

The government, which holds 67.72 per cent stake in BHEL, had approved divestment of five per cent equity in the power equipment maker.

BHEL, however, had withdrawn the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) for the follow-on offer filed with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in April, at the finance ministry's behest.

The government had, in July, appointed Morgan Stanley, DSP Merrill Lynch Bank of America, ICICI Securities and Kotak Mahindra Capital as merchant bankers for BHEL's follow-on public offer.

BHEL along with oil and gas producer ONGC, mining major Coal India, power utility NTPC were expected to lead the second wave of divestment in public sector enterprises. However, the government seems to have developed cold feet in the face of a lackluster market and the lack of enthusiasm among investors for PSU shares.