New Delhi: State-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) pumped in over Rs 12,000 crore and purchased 95 percent of the equity put on the block in the first-ever stake sale of ONGC through auction process.
   
LIC, according to official sources, picked up 40 crore shares, or 95 percent of the ONGC shares, sold through the auction route yesterday fetching the government a total of Rs
12,766.75 crore.
   
There was no participation from foreign institutional investors and very little from retail investors, sources said. About 42 crore ONGC shares, representing a little less than 5 percent of government stake in the oil major, were sold at an average price of Rs 303.67 a piece.
   
Meanwhile, talking to reporters Disinvestment Secretary Haleem Khan said, "We got bids for 42.1 crore shares...it comes to 98 percent (of the issue size). In terms of volume, we received bids worth Rs 16,460.2 crore and out of that Rs 3,693.29 crore worth bids were rejected. Bids worth Rs 12,766.75 crore were accepted."
   
On whether the government will sell stake in more PSUs through the auction route, he said, "It will depend upon case-to-case basis, definitely on the strength of the company, market and investor interest.

"If we analyse (that) this process will give us better results as good as this result...we can continue with it (auction route)", he added.
   
Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said, "this (ONGC auction) is the first case. We shall have to analyse and then make an assessment."
   
The high-voltage ONGC auction was marred by technical glitches but scraped through after intervention by the Finance Ministry and Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

(Agencies)