NTPC, India's largest utility, said on Thursday its follow-on public offer of 412.27 million shares, or 5 percent in the company, will open on February 3 and close on February 5.

At current prices, the offer is estimated to raise about $2 billion. Shares in the state-run firm, valued at $41.5 billion, were trading up 0.8 percent at 231.50 rupees at 0918 GMT, in a Mumbai market up 0.6 percent.

The shares sale is part of the government's divestment plan as it seeks to speed up reforms and raise more resources for social schemes. It plans to sell stakes in about 60 state-run firms, which could help cut the fiscal deficit in the 2010/11 fiscal year.

Share issues for NMDC, Rural Electrification Corp and Satluj Jal Vidyut are also expected by the end of March. Since August, the government has raised $1.8 billion by selling shares in NHPC and Oil India.

The government holds an 89.5 percent stake in NTPC, India's biggest power firm that generates 30,644 megawatts out of the country's total capacity of 155,859 megawatts.

ICICI Securities, Citigroup Global Markets, J.P. Morgan India and Kotak Mahindra Capital Company are the book running lead managers to the issue.

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