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Government aims to sell stakes in companies via up to Rs. 3,000 crore ETF

The government is seeking to raise around Rs. 3000 crore by selling partial stakes in 10 state-owned companies via an exchange traded fund that will be operated by Goldman Sachs’ asset management unit.

The Central Public Sector Enterprises ETF will start accepting subscriptions starting on Tuesday with an aim to raise as much as Rs. 3,000 crore by March 21.

The ETF will target mainly retail investors, although the fund will also be sold to institutional and foreign investors.

The ETF is an important part of the government’s target to sell stakes in state-owned companies worth Rs. 16,030 crore by the year ending March so India can meet its revised fiscal deficit target of 4.6 per cent of gross domestic product.

“This ETF will give the government a new vehicle to sell stakes (in state-owned companies),” said Alok Tandon, joint secretary in the Department of Disinvestment at a news conference on Friday.

“We’re hopeful of good retail investor response.”

A senior official in the finance ministry dealing with stake sales said the government has already raised Rs. 7,478 crore as part of its disinvestment drive this year.

Tandon also said on Friday that India was aiming to raise an additional Rs. 3,000 crore to Rs. 4,000 crore via the sale of a stake held by a state-run trust fund in Axis Bank.

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