Sovereign wealth funds from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait are among foreign investors that have pledged to buy shares in India’s state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), the Economic Times reported on Monday.
Officials from the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) met Indian government officials last week and agreed to buy shares as part of the government’s planned sale of five percent of ONGC, the report said.
Other foreign funds are also discussing the possible purchase of shares in ONGC, said the report said, citing three unnamed people familiar with the discussions.
A sale of five percent of ONGC would raise about 120 billion Indian rupees (2.4 billion US dollars) based on the ONGC’s current share price.
A spokesman for the Finance Ministry could not be reached for comment. Monday is a holiday in India.
Officials from the Kuwait Investment Authority and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority could not be reached outside of business hours.
A government panel last week approved a plan to sell some of the government’s shareholding in ONGC through a share auction but did not provide a timeframe.
New Delhi is widely expected to miss its deficit target of 4.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for the fiscal year ending in March, in part due to its inability to meet the budget goal of raising more than $8.1 billion from the sale of stakes in state-run companies.
Shares in ONGC, which has a market value of $48.8 billion, have risen almost 10 percent in 2012. The overall market has risen 18 percent in the same period.