The government is seeking to raise around Rs 3000 crore by selling partial stakes in 10 state-owned companies via an exchange traded fund that will be operated by Goldman Sachs' asset management unit.
The Central Public Sector Enterprises ETF will start accepting subscriptions starting on Tuesday with an aim to raise as much as Rs 3,000 crore by March 21.
The ETF will target mainly retail investors, although the fund will also be sold to institutional and foreign investors.
"This ETF will give the government a new vehicle to sell stakes (in state-owned companies)," said Alok Tandon, joint secretary in the Department of Disinvestment at a news conference on Friday.
"We're hopeful of good retail investor response."
A senior official in the finance ministry dealing with stake sales said the government has already raised Rs 7,478 crore as part of its disinvestment drive this year.
Tandon also said on Friday that India was aiming to raise an additional Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 4,000 crore via the sale of a stake held by a state-run trust fund in Axis Bank.
Analysts have said that the ETF could better help the government divest its stakes in some of the public sector companies by pairing blue chips such as Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd (ONGC) with relatively smaller and financially weaker ones.
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had first announced plans to introduce the ETF last year, but volatile markets have delayed the launch and also forced it to lower its disinvestment target from the previous 400 billion rupees.
The launch comes as the broader NSE index has rallied this month to record highs. But the individual performances of companies in the ETF have varied, including a gain of around 12 percent so far this year for ONGC, but a fall of around 9 per cent in Coal India.
Copyright: Thomson Reuters 2014