October 14, 2019 / 5:05 AM / a month ago

Shares of Indian railways arm jump twofold on debut

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Shares of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp Ltd INIR.NS (IRCTC) more than doubled their value on market debut on Monday, after the state-run company saw a bumper initial public offering (IPO) that was subscribed nearly 112 times.

Shares opened at 626 rupees before rising as high as 698 rupees each, as of 0434 GMT, 118.13% higher than their issue price of 320 rupees.

The overwhelming response comes amid slowing growth in Asia’s third-largest economy, which has hit sales of everything from cars to cookies, prompting the government to step in with deep cuts in corporate taxes and a raft of other measures to revive growth.

The IPO was issued to raise 6.45 billion rupees ($91.09 million), with the Indian government retaining a 87.4% stake in the company.

IRCTC has the sole authority to sell railway tickets online, offer catering service and exclusively manufacture and supply packaged drinking water at railway stations and on trains in India.

The company operates in four business segments and also offers e-catering services to passengers via a mobile phone application.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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