Bharat Petroleum Can Be Partially Sold To Private Investors; Govt Scales Down Disinvestment Plan By Almost 50%
The initial plans of the Indian government to divest all of its stake held in the state owned oil refiner Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) is no longer appearing to take form, and sources suggest that the Centre is now mulling about selling up to 25% of its stake held in the firm.
According to sources privy to the matter, the Government is planning to invite bids for 20-25% of its stake held in the oil refiner, due to unimpressive response and slow process.
BPCL to Invite Bids for Selling 20-25% Stake?
Some government sources privy to the matter have informed the agency Reuters that the Government is planning to invite bids for selling 20-25% of its stake held in BPCL.
It currently holds a 52.98% stake in the oil major and the state-owned refiner’s privatisation is a part of the government’s disinvestment drive.
New Delhi is considering cutting its initial target of selling 100% of its 52.98% held stake in the oil refiner to up to 25% now, due to a grim response from bidders, as the sale failed to attract suitors, stated the sources.
More Details on BPCL’s Failure to Lure Investors
The Centre had initially, as mentioned above, planned to raise $8-$10 billion by selling its full stake in BPCL, as part of the disinvestment drive.
For this, it had drawn up plans four years ago, and finally in 2020, invited bids for the same, hoping to get bids from some major global oil players like Rosneft from Russia.
However, neither Rosneft nor the world’s major oil company Saudi Aramco, and now also the most valuable company in the world, participated in the bidding process, due to low oil prices at that time, and a weak demand, which impacted their investment plans.
As per the government officials, even a fraction of BPCL’s stake sale looks unlikely to be completed in the ongoing financial year, as the process would take over a year’s time.
“There were many issues but most recently petrol prices not being raised for four months between November and February were presumed due to elections by the government,” stated the official, cited Reuters.
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