New Delhi: (Disinvestment news) Govt has opened global bids on Tuesday morning for strategic disinvestment of all its 63.75% stake in the Shipping Corporation of India. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in November 2019 only had given in-principle approval for the strategic divestment of Shipping Corp. However, due to COVID-19 pandemic, the process got delayed. Govt has a mammoth task ahead of bridging the gap in the budget caused due to contraction of the economy.
"GOI is proposing strategic disinvestment of its entire shareholding in SCIl comprising 29,69,42,977 equity shares, which constitutes 63.75% of SCIL's equity share capital ("Stake") along with transfer control of the management to the investors. GOI has appointed RBSA capital advisors LLP, as its transaction advisor ("TA") to advise and manage the strategic disinvestment process" said the Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) uploaded on the DIPAM website.
Modi govt is depending on the non-tax revenues as the pandemic-induced closures and lockdowns have pushed the economy to a historic contraction. The govt has a target to raise a record 2.1 trillion rupees ($28.5 billion) from asset sales in the current fiscal year till March. So far they have been able to raise a meagre Rs 11,006 crores through minority stake sale in CPSEs this fiscal year. The strategic sale process of BPCL and Air India is ongoing and both the companies have received multiple expressions of Interest (EoI) from potential buyers.
According to sources, the government is going ahead with the disinvestment process on the basis of interest shown by potential investors during roadshows. They added that a number of domestic and one global player may take part in the bidding process, going by the response received during roadshows. The list of domestic players who may throw their hat in the ring include, Adani Group, Vedanta, Essar Shipping and GE Shipping. In addition, Dubai's DP World and some other global funds have also shown interest in buying the government's stake in the PSU.
SCI is India's largest shipping company with 59 vessels under its wing. Its owned fleet includes bulk carriers, crude oil tankers, product tankers, container vessels, passenger-cum-cargo vessels, phosphoric acid/chemical carriers, LPG/ammonia carriers and offshore supply vessels. As the country's premier shipping line, the SCI owns and operates around one-third of the Indian tonnage, and has operating interests in practically all areas of the shipping business, servicing both national and international trades. SCI is the only Indian shipping company operating break-bulk services, international container services, liquid/dry bulk services, offshore services, passenger services.
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