India approves National Hydroelectric Power share sale

The India Cabinet has approved an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in state-run National Hydroelectric Power Corp. (NHPC), a minister said.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi said the government will sell a 24 percent stake in the country’s largest hydropower utility.

�The proceeds of the IPO will be used for its expansion,� Dasmunsi said, without giving a time frame or the size of the offer.

NHPC has 11 completed hydro projects of 3,755 MW, 13 under construction of 5,712 MW, 12 in development or investigation totaling 16,400 MW, as well as other joint venture and turnkey projects.

In November, Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said the cabinet had cleared the sale of stakes in three other state-run firms through IPOs. The government plans to sell 10 percent of Power Finance Corp., 24 percent of Power Grid Corp., and 20 percent of Rural Electrification Corp.

The plans mark a limited revival of stalled asset sales. In July, the ruling Congress Party-led coalition put a hold on all decisions to sell stakes in state-run firms after a key ally threatened to pull out of the coalition.

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