Government defers ONGC follow-on share sale to next fiscal

The government has decided to push back the Rs11,500-crore share sale of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) to the next financial year. The follow-on public offer would now open on 5 April, a senior official said today.

The rescheduling of the FPO, originally scheduled for 15 March, is partly on account of the delay in appointment of independent directors of ONGC board as per SEBI's listing requirements.

The FPO, which will open on 5 April, would close on 8 April, as per the new schedule.

Based on today's closing price of Rs269.85 of the ONGC stock on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the stake dilution in the oil explorer by 5 per cent (or 427.77 million equity shares) would fetch the government over Rs11,540 crore.

The share sale would leave the government with a 69.14 per cent stake against the current 74.14 per cent.

Roadshows for the promotion of the FPO in the nation's biggest explorer and top profit earner, now stand postponed to 21 March. These were scheduled to be held in India and aboard from 2 March to 9 March.