Govt shelves BHEL divestment

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Monday, August 05, 2013
Published On: 16:34:35 PM

The disinvestment department has shelved plans to sell a stake in power equipment maker BHEL, citing valuation concerns and a depleting order book.

Sources said the department has withdrawn the 5 per cent disinvestment proposal in view of BHEL’s low share price, decreased capital expenditure and less demand for power—sector equipment.

The BHEL scrip hit a one-year low on the BSE on Monday, declining 19.64 per cent to Rs 120.05, after the company’s June quarter net profit almost halved to Rs 465.43 crore on account of lower sales. The scrip has lost over 60 per cent since 2011, when the stake sale was approved.

'The power sector itself is not doing well, which has depleted BHEL’s order book. The share price has also been taking a beating and so the DoD decided to withdraw the disinvestment proposal,' an official said.

The Heavy Industries Ministry, the administrative ministry of the company, has for long opposed the proposed disinvestment in state-run BHEL, citing unfavourable market conditions. It wanted the issue not to look like a 'distress sale' but rather one that would reap 'good value.'

In the first quarter of the current fiscal, BHEL’s net sales declined 23.7 per cent to Rs 6,352.55 crore from Rs 8,326.24 crore a year earlier, according to a company filing to the BSE on Friday.

At the end of the June quarter, the company’s outstanding order book stood at over Rs 1.08 lakh crore, less than over Rs 1.15 lakh crore in the March quarter.

Sluggish prospects in the domestic power sector as well as cheap overseas imports of power equipment have adversely affected BHEL’s business.

Courtesy : The Hindu

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