Government defers Coal India stake sale again as stock falls

The government has advised Coal India that the deadline for a minimum 25% public holding has been deferred by two years since the stock has underperformed, company executives said.

The Centre was planning to divest 5%-10% in Coal India to comply with the norm for listed companies. The management had started conducting road shows for investors in the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong preparatory to the stake sale.

The government holds 78.32% in Coal India which is 3.32% short of the 25% mandatory public holding mark. “The norm required Coal India’s public holding to be at least 25% by August 21 this year. The Centre has deferred the deadline now by two year till August 2020. This is for the second time this deadline is being extended,” said a senior CIL executive.

The original deadline for complying with the norm was August 21, 2017. Stake sale was deferred as Coal India’s shares fell sharply.

The government had earlier planned to sell 5%-10% by August 2017 to raise Rs 20,000 crore. From 2016 to 2017, Coal India’s shares fell 29%.