From BPCL to BEML, four government companies to watch out for as India's Defence Minister prepares for a disinvestment meeting

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From BPCL to BEML, four government companies to watch out for as India's Defence Minister prepares for a disinvestment meeting
  • BPCL, BEML, Air India, Mishra Dhatu Nigam and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers are in the list of companies that will be privatised soon.
  • The government has so far raised a little over ₹8,000 crore from disinvestment this year so far compared to the budgeted goal of ₹1.75 lakh crore.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will reportedly review the divestment and privatisation plan today.
A whole host of companies from Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) to Bharat Earth Movers, Air India, Mishra Dhatu Nigam and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers are in the list of companies that will be privatised soon.

With little over six months to go before the financial year ends, the government of India is running against a tight deadline to raise nearly ₹1 lakh crore (over $140 billion) from sale of shares in government-owned companies, a process called disinvestment.

The government has so far raised a little over ₹8,000 crore from disinvestment this year so far compared to the budgeted goal of ₹1.75 lakh crore, set by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will reportedly review the divestment and privatisation plan today.

BEML up 3.4% in the last one month

BEML up 3.4% in the last one month
Flourish chart/BSE data

The government is looking to privatise the state run Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) by selling 26% stake in the company, from the current 54.03%, for ₹1,440 crore. The department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) had set the minimum net worth requirement for bidders at ₹1400 crore.

The company’s growth prospects remain strong with its robust order book of ₹11,363 crore as of April 1, 2021 which grew 16% from the previous year. There were reports that Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, Bharat Forge and Megha Engineering and Infrastructure are looking to take part in the privatisation of BEML.

BEML operates under three major business verticals: mining and construction, defence, and rail and Metro. The company also makes military vehicles, and railway and metro coaches.

Shares of the company have gained 36% so far in 2021 on hopes of stake sale by the government.

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BPCL up 8% in the last one month

BPCL up 8% in the last one month
Flourish chart/BSE data

The government is aiming to sell its entire 52.98% stake in India’s one of the largest fuel retailers BPCL. Reportedly, three bidders have shown interest in the buyout -- billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Group, and private equity firms Apollo Global, and I Squared Capital’s arm Think Gas.

However, recently Fitch ratings gave a ‘BBB-’ rating with negative outlook for BPCL saying it continues to treat the potential divestment of the company by the Indian government as an event risk. "Bidders are conducting due diligence, but uncertainty over the bidder consortiums and process complexity, including valuation, may lead to potential delays,” said Fitch according to reports.

Shares of the company have gained 28% in the 2021 so far.

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Mishra Dhatu Nigam down 0.4% in the last one month

Mishra Dhatu Nigam down 0.4% in the last one month
Flourish chart/BSE data

The government is reportedly planning to sell 10% stake in Mishra Dhatu Nigam (MIDHANI) from its current shareholding of 74% which is valued at around ₹2,550 crore. There have been no reports of potential bidders to buy stake in the company.

MIDHANI is a specialized metals and metal alloys manufacturing facility in Hyderabad controlled by the Ministry of Defence. Its key customers, according to its website, include Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Larsen & Toubro and BHEL among others.

Shares of the company have fallen 7.45% in 2021 so far.

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Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers up 2% in the last one month

Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers up 2% in the last one month
Flourish chart/BSE data

The government is planning to sell 10% stake in the company from its current shareholding of 74.50%. The company caters to the shipbuilding requirements of the Indian Navy and the Indian coast guard. Some of its competitors include L&T Shipbuilding and Reliance Naval and Engineering. Similar to Mishra Dhatu Nigam, there have been no reports of development in the bidding process of the company.

The company was listed in October 2018 and gained 92% since then. In 2021 so far, shares of the company have fallen 3.42% in the 2021 so far.

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