Mumbai: The auction for sale of the government's 5 per cent stake in ONGC gained momentum by early afternoon, as bids came in for about 48 lakh shares.
    
The bids have been mostly in the price range of Rs 291-293 per share for the auction, under which the government has proposed to sell about 42.77 crore shares. The auction commenced at 0915 hours and would close at 1530 hours on Thursday.
    
The government has fixed a floor price of Rs 290 per share for the share sale through this one-day auction, wherein it is targetting to raise about Rs 12,000-13,000 crore.
    
At 1245 hours, bids had come in for a total of 47.7 lakh shares.
    
The early morning bids had come in the price range of Rs 292-294 a piece, but the price fell to Rs 291-292 by late morning.
    
In the first hour of auction, bids had come in for about 37,500 shares, while it rose to about 1.7 lakh by the end of second hour of the bidding.
    
The bidding picked up momentum by the mid-day and bids for more than 10 lakh shares had come in at 1200 hours.
    
Investment bankers said that the bidding was expected to gain further ground in the last 2-3 hours.
    
After an initial spike of about one per cent, ONGC shares had turned weak and was trading 0.6 per cent down at Rs 291.50 at 1250 hours. The stock price has remained above the floor price of Rs 290 and had touched a high of Rs 296.50 within minutes of market opening this morning.

As the auction proceeded further, the share price of ONGC fell below the floor price of Rs 290 a piece.
    
By 1415 hours, bids had come in for about 97 lakh shares, accounting for about 2.2 per cent of the total offer size. The ONGC stock, in the meantime, fell to Rs 289.15 -- down 1.4 per cent from its previous close.
    
The stock had slipped to as low as Rs 287.65 at around 1345 hours, after managing to trade over the Rs 290 level till the early afternoon trade.

(Agencies)