Government to sell 5 per cent ONGC stake via auction

An empowered group of ministers (EGoM) today approved auction sale of 5 per cent equity in state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), expected to fetch the fund-strapped government over Rs12,000 crore.

The first stake sale by the government in nearly nine months, the five per cent stake in ONGC will be sold through a one-day auction in a couple of days, minister for petroleum and natural gas S Jaipal Reddy said.

He said the government will soon notify the stock exchanges to inform them of the auction.

"The decision is to go in for sale of shares. Now the notice needs to be given to the stock exchange," Reddy said, adding, "The details can be divulged only after the notice is sent to the stock exchanges."

While details of the stake sale and auction process are not known, it is widely held that the auction will open on 1 March and bidding will be open to everyone, including institutional investors.

The sale of 5 per cent equity in ONGC will leave the government with a reduced shareholding of 69.14 per cent in the oil and gas explorer.