The upcoming 2018-19 budget, to be presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while not expected to be outright populist, will still contain sops and see an increase in allocation across schemes and public expenditure. He will require resources, and disinvestment
is expected to be a major one.
While Air India
will be the marquee sale, expected to be completed by October 2018, the centre may sell Pawan Hans
as well, among other loss-making PSUs, Business Standard
has learnt. The department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) has already created a pipeline for potential stake sale through various methods.
2018-19 divestment target may be Rs 900 bln-1 trn, highest ever by some distance
Air India privatization to be marquee disinvestment action
Privatisation of other PSUs also planned, including Pawan Hans
Further PSU mergers on the cards
IPOs, OFSs, buybacks to continue into next fiscal
State-owned construction company NBCC Ltd, which has already bought Hindustan Steelworks Construction
Ltd this year, may buy other smaller construction and engineering PSUs, sources said. The candidates are Hindustan Prefab, Engineering Projects India
Ltd, NPCC Ltd, and HSCC Ltd.
The centre launched its second PSU ETF, the Bharat 22 ETF
in November and garneted Rs 145 billion (Rs 14,500 crore). An official said that there is still a massive interest amongst investors, and a second tranche is certain to be launched early next fiscal. There could be further tranches of its first PSU ETF
The pipeline includes a number of pending IPOs as well. The names include defence companies like Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Garden Reach Shipbuilders, Bharat Dynamics
and Mazagaon Dockyards, railway companies like Ircon, RITES, IRCTC
and IRFC, and three general insurance companies. While a few of these could happen before March 31, most are slated for next year.
Preparations are being carried out for a number of OFSs as well. The plans are for a 10 per cent stake in NHPC, Power Finance Corporation
and SAIL, 15 per cent in NLC, five per cent in Rural Electrification Corporation
and three per cent in Indian Oil. Buybacks by PSUs are expected to continue next year as well.