State-owned oil refining and marketing major Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) fell 5.6 per cent on Thursday, a day after the government approved a divestment plan in the oil marketing company. The BPCL stock ended at Rs. 534, lower by 5.6 per cent on the BSE. Among the other listed divestment candidates, Shipping Corporation of India has shaved off 6.2 per cent to trade at Rs 64 and Container Corporation of India (Concor) ended flat with a negative bias at Rs 576.70.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced late on Wednesday that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had approved the sale of government stake in five major central public sector enterprises (CPSEs): BPCL, Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), THDCIL, and NEEPCO.
The Finance Minister also said the government will hand over management control in each of these companies to the strategic buyer.
BPCL's subsidiary, Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) in Assam, will be hived off to another government oil company due to its geo-strategic importance.
Among the five companies, BPCL is the most lucrative as it has attractive valuations and stable business outlook despite the government's plan to segregate the Numaligarh refinery, according to analysts.
The government had earlier announced plans to sell national carrier Air India as it attempts to tide over tax shortfalls of around Rs. 2 lakh crore and adhere to the fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) for the current year.
The government has set a target of raising Rs. 1.05 lakh crore ($14.6 billion) through the sale of state stakes by March 2020.
In a related development, Saudi Aramco, which kicked off the final phase of its $25 billion IPO on Sunday, has been noncommittal on purchasing a stake in BPCL as it is reportedly focusing on purchasing a 20 per cent stake in Reliance Industries' oil to chemical division.