Govt sets up new exchange-traded fund to sell stakes in state-run firms
Photo Credit: Reuters

India has set up a new exchange-traded fund to sell government stakes in 22 state-run and private firms under its $11.4 billion asset sale programme, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters on Friday.

Jaitley has budgeted to raise Rs 72,500 crore ($11.4 billion) through the asset sale programme in the fiscal year to end-March 2018.

The fund will trade government shares in four state-run energy companies - ONGC Ltd., BPCL, IOC and Coal India, he said.

It will also include banking and finance companies such as SBI, Bank of Baroda, Indian Bank, Rural Electrification Corp. Ltd., Power Finance Corp. Ltd. and Axis Bank .

New Delhi will sell shares, via the fund, in utilities like Power Grid Corp., NTPC, Gail, NHPC, NLC and SJVN.

Industrials included in the fund are: Bharat Electronics, Engineers India and NBCC.

The fund will sell government shares in ITC Ltd. and National Aluminium Co. Ltd. as well, Jaitley said.

ICICI Prudential will manage the fund, he added.

In the first four months of the 2017/18 financial year, the government has, thus far, raised Rs 9,300 crore ($1.46 billion) through the asset sale programme, he said.

India raised Rs 8,500 crore ($1.34 billion)through a similar fund as part of its 2016-17 asset sales programme.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are essentially Index Funds that are listed and traded on exchanges like stocks. An ETF is a basket of stocks that reflects the composition of an Index.

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