Indian government to sell up to 5% stake in railway unit IRCTC

NEW DELHI, Dec 14 (Reuters) - India will sell an up to 5% stake in Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) (INIR.NS), the company said in a filing on Wednesday, as the government seeks to meet a steep divestment target for the year.

The government is looking to sell a 2.5% stake in the state-owned firm at 680 Indian rupees per share, with an option to additionally offload 2.5%.

At that price, offloading 5% of IRCTC could fetch around 27.2 billion rupees ($329.90 million), a Reuters estimate showed.

IRCTC is the only firm authorised by the Indian Railways to manage food services on trains and offer online railway ticket booking services.

In nearly nine months of the current financial year, the Indian government has not been able to meet even half of its 650 billion rupees budgeted divestment target due to delays in privatising some state-owned firms including Shipping Corporation of India and BEML.

Last month, the government received 38.39 billion rupees from the sale of Axis Bank Ltd (AXBK.NS) shares held by a government-investment vehicle.

($1 = 82.4500 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Nikunj Ohri in New Delhi, writing by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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