Rural Electrification Corp (REC) plans to sell a further 20 percent stake in December or January, a senior official said on Thursday, in a deal that would be worth nearly $700 million at current levels.

The state-run company, which finances village electrification projects, expects to get approval from the Indian government for the sale of 171 million shares in the next 15 to 20 days, Finance Director H.D. Khunteta told Reuters by telephone.

Three-quarters of the sale proceeds will be used for re-deployment by REC, while the remainder will be repatriated to the government, he said.

Indian companies have raised roughly $8 billion in equity sales so far this year and dozens of firms, including several state companies, are planning equity capital raisings as they take advantage of a near-doubling in the Sensex since late February.

Power-starved India aims to bring electricity to all its 44,865 villages by 2012 through a electrification projects financed by state-run REC at an estimated cost of $8.4 billion.

The New Delhi-based company has also said it plans to raise up to $500 million through overseas bonds and syndicated loans by September.

REC shares ended down 2.9 percent at 191.50 rupees and have nearly tripled since the start of the year.

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