Coal India may scrap anchor investor placement

Kolkata: State-run Coal India Ltd (CIL) may scrap allotment under anchor investor plan of its mega initial public offering (IPO) as the government feels the selection of such investors — in case their demand for the issue exceeds the limit — may not be transparent, reports PTI.

The government expects to raise up to Rs12,000-Rs15,000 crore through the CIL IPO, billed as the country's largest ever.

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) working on the IPO would meet by September-end to decide on the anchor investor issue and on 12th October on the price band of the shares being offered, sources told PTI.

"We believe demand for placement for anchor investors will exceed the quota limit. We may have to be discretionary about whom to choose. This is something which the government is not comfortable with as the process of selection of such investors may not be transparent," the sources said.

The government might find it difficult to explain why it selected one anchor investor over another, they said.

CIL chairman Partha S Bhattacharyya when contacted said even if the anchor investor portion was dropped it was unlikely to impact the valuation and interest from investors as all of them could participate through the route of qualified institutional buyers (QIB).

"The response from the investors' community was overwhelming in all major cities we visited like London, Los Angeles, Sidney or Singapore," he said.

Anchor investors are those investors who buy shares of the company before the launch of the public issue. The concept of anchor investors was approved by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) last year.

This class of investors, who cannot be a promoter of the issuer company, can be allocated as much as 30% of the portion reserved for QIBs. Such investors must bid for at least Rs10 crore worth of shares

Placement of anchor investors cannot not be done on a pro-rata basis — the standard norm for other class of investors including QIB.

Coal India has earlier said that the offer of 63 crore shares or 10% government stake would open on 18th October.


Ontario companies scouting for biz opportunities in India

Toronto: A large number of companies in Ontario, Canada, are looking for new business opportunities in India as they find the country an exciting destination for investment, reports PTI.

"We believe that a closer economic relationship with India could deliver commercial benefits to businesses on both sides," Pradeep Sood, chair of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) said in an interview.

Mr Sood is the first Indo-Canadian to hold this prestigious position.
The OCC is a federation of 160 chambers of commerce and boards of trade in Ontario province, representing 63,000 businesses of all sizes across sectors.
He said efforts the Canadian government are making effort to make India a key priority in the country's foreign and trade policy agenda.
"We have two strategic partners outside North America, India and China, and we are working diligently.
"The visit of prime minister Manmohan Singh to Toronto in June as part of the G-20 Summit and visit of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to India in November last had given fresh impetus to the bilateral relationship between India and Canada," he said.
Welcoming the proposed Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA) between the countries, Mr Sood said that it would benefit both Canadian and Indian investors.
He said that he looks forward to welcoming minister of commerce and industry Anand Sharma's visit to Canada in the next few days.


A ground for fair play

We describe an initiative to encourage sportsmanship

Sometime in the 1980s, two girls paid for their sleeper-class train tickets from Karnataka to Delhi to participate in an athletics meet. This was to avoid travelling unreserved because of the government's poor planning. The two girls were Olympian Vandana Rao and Reeth Abraham. Since they were employed in a bank, they were able to pay their way through. The situation remains the same even today. Paying for their own reservations is only one of the travails of an Indian athlete; the amenities and living conditions are equally pathetic.

Three decades later, Ms Rao and Ms Abraham joined BVP Rao and other top athletes to set up a non-governmental body called Clean Sports India (CSI), to do something about the sad state of Indian sports. Although CSI was conceptualised five years ago by Mr Rao, a national equestrian player, it was launched just two months ago. Mr Rao realised that the only way to change the system was to get sportsmen involved in administration, instead of giving them honorary positions on sports bodies. He has plenty of administrative experience working with a United Nations Mission to help develop self-governing institutions in Kosovo after the war. Interestingly, when Mr Rao called friends from the sporting fraternity, they were apprehensive about a possible conflict with powerful politicians. But, by 23 June 2010, he managed to get the support of 10 sportspersons and CSI was launched on International Olympic Day.

The controversy and corruption allegations regarding the CWG, which are to start on 3 October 2010, have given impetus to CSI's activities. It hopes to participate in the governance and management of various sports federations in the country to create an environment for clean, corruption-free sports in the country and hold seminars and meetings to increase awareness on issues pertaining to Indian sports. This, CSI believes, will happen when former athletes are in charge of Olympic sports federations, associations and clubs. "We want sportsmen to be part of the federation as they understand the difficulties sportsmen face," says Reeth Abraham, CSI's joint convener.

Another major objective is to help reduce the use of steroids by sportspersons.
CSI's conveners realise they have a tough job attracting public interest. After all, India is a cricket-crazy nation, where cricketers alone are treated like demigods. Cricket's dominance leads to jealousy among other sportspersons and also results in lack of encouragement for other sports, absence of a sporting culture and shortage of infrastructure and resources at the grassroots level. "We are not a sporting nation. Champions have emerged and will continue to emerge more by chance and not out of choice," says Ashwini Nachappa, a former runner and CSI's vice president.

CSI has made a start by holding awareness meetings at Bengaluru and Mumbai. In September, a public discussion on various sports-related issues is planned. It is currently asking sportspersons to become members of CSI by paying a fee of Rs100. If you wish to support their activities, you can join CSI by paying an annual fee of Rs500; companies that share its objectives can become associate members by paying a Rs5,000 annual fee.

All of us lament about India's poor performance in international sporting events that requires government support in the form of training and infrastructure. Well, here is your chance to help change the environment for sports. CSI desperately needs funds to take its activities forward. At the moment, its members have invested their own funds to get it going. But, as ace athlete Ashwini Nachappa says, "An absolute necessity for challenging the present order are conviction and funding. For now, we sportspersons have been putting in our resources but we seek corporate and institutional support to carry this movement forward." CSI doesn't even have office space or administrative support and infrastructure. All they have is a post-box address and could do with your support to grow.

Clean Sports India

PO Box No 3123,
Lodhi Road Head Post Office, New Delhi 110 003
Mobile: 98455 78089,


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