India says stake sale in Hindustan Zinc, Balco unlikely in 2013/14

NEW DELHI Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:06am EST

NEW DELHI Feb 17 (Reuters) - The Indian government is unlikely to complete sale of minority stakes in Hindustan Zinc Ltd and Bharat Aluminium (Balco) this fiscal year, a finance ministry official said on Monday.

The federal government owns 29.5 percent of Hindustan Zinc and 49 percent of BALCO. Both the companies are majority owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc.

"The process which is required to be gone through before disinvestment can happen is a process that takes time and in our estimation it would not be completed before March 31 this year," Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram said.

"Therefore we have kept adequate provision for receipts from the sale of stocks in these two companies for next year."

Finance Minister P Chidambaram, however, said the process of selling the government's stake in Axis Bank was underway and was likely to be completed before end-March.

India aims to raise 569.25 billion rupees ($9.17 billion) from stake sale in state-run firms in 2014/15, the federal government said in its budget document on Monday.

The government also said it has revised the target for stake sale in state-run firms for the current fiscal year that ends in March to 258.41 billion rupees.

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