NSDL freezes ONGC allotment process

Mumbai: The National Securities Depository Ltd froze allotment of ONGC shares to successful bidders at about yesterday when ONGC's registrar MCS Ltd informed it that there was a mistake in allotment of new shares.

According to NSDL officials, certain high net worth individuals were given full credit of shares in their demat account when they were allotted less than what they had applied for.

The Disinvestment Minister, Mr Arun Shourie, described the glitch as a "human error". Mr Shourie told newspersons here that the exact extent of the damage was yet to be ascertained fully. "We will be able to put a number to it after our experts assess the damage," he said.

Several investors, who took the first opportunity to sell their new shares that were credited to their depository accounts in the morning, had to square off the trades at a loss after the NSDL freeze caught them unawares. The price of ONGC shares fell on the exchanges after many investors sold from their allotments.