India asks state-owned oil firm to list overseas unit ONGC Videsh

ONGC. Photo: Livemint

The Indian government has asked its biggest state-owned firm, Oil and Natural Gas , tolist its overseas unit ONGC Videsh, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

The move to float the unit – which has investments in 11 producing assets in countries including Russia, Brazil and Iran – is part of a government push to sell state-assets to raise funds.

A listing would also help unlock value in the unit by improving its corporate governance and efficiency, the letter from the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management to ONGC said.

The letter, sent last week, did not state how much of ONGC should be offered to outside investors.

The letter said any state-owned firm with a positive net worth and no accumulated loss should be listed to unlock value.

The listing would help the government meet its divestment targets and make up for a failed plan earlier this year to sell a stake in national carrier Air India.

The Narendra Modi-led government has a target to raise a record 1 trillion rupees ($14.25 billion) from the sale of state assets in the current fiscal year ending in March 2019.

India holds a 67.45 percent stake in ONGC Videsh’s parent ONGC and gains from a listing could be transferred to the government via a special dividend.

ONGC Videsh, 100 percent owned by ONGC, suffered losses during the low crude price environment between 2014 and 2017 but its earnings have since recovered.

The firm posted a net profit of $152 million and contributed 5 percent to ONGC‘s overall net earnings in the latest fiscal year ended March 2018.

ONGC Videsh was formed in 1965 to help India expand its overseas footprint.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.