Power Grid corp gets $1.7bln on opening day

Mumbai/Kolkata, Nov 13, 2010 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS): On the first day of its secondary sale of shares India’s largest transmission company Power Grid Corp received around Rs 77 billion ($1.7 billion) worth of bids.

The Further Public Offering (FPO) of 841,768,246 shares was subscribed by around 1.08 times on Tuesday as investors scurried to get their hands on the shares of what is seen as one of the nation’s most efficient Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).

Power Grid’s FPO comes as part of India’s ongoing disinvestment programme which also saw an overwhelming $3.4 billion Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the state-run Coal India recently.

Handling around half of all power generated in the country, Power Grid operates 95 percent of India’s interstate and inter-regional network, making it the world’s third largest transmission company after two in China and Germany.

Shares of the company rose 5.5 percent to Rs 103.80 on Tuesday.

At a press interaction held in Kolkata, company execs announced the opening of the share sale, at Rs 85 to 90 apiece, which closes on Friday.

Reiterating that they have consistently almost doubled their transmission capacity over the five-year plans the directors said they were fixated on maintaining the company’s status as Asia’s fastest growing power enterprise.

“We are also seriously taking up leasing our towers to telecom companies and have invited bids in the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh,” director I S Jha said.

Power Grid owns around 150,000 towers nationwide and is considering leasing 10 – 15 percent of them to telecom players for wireless networks. The company said it saw “a lot of potential” in the deal.

Execs said that technical consultancy to national and international players was also adding a significant chunk to its revenue lately and they saw it as a promising direction.

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