NTPC may float another FPO next fiscal

New Delhi: State-run power producer NTPC may approach the government next fiscal for permission to raise funds through a follow-on public offer (FPO) to part-finance power equipment purchases worth an estimated Rs1,50,000 crore, reports PTI.

“NTPC may approach the government next fiscal for a follow-on offer,” a power ministry official said.

NTPC currently generates over 32,000MW of electricity per annum, but plans to ramp up capacity to 75,000MW by 2017.

For this purpose, it is expected to float a Rs1,50,000 crore international competitive bidding tender to source the power equipment.

However, the stake to be divested by the government and the fresh equity to be offered under the FPO could not be ascertained, as the proposal is still at a nascent stage.

NTPC has already raised over Rs 8,000 crore through its FPO in February this year.

The company may also borrow from overseas to fund its expansion plans. “It may raise money from the overseas market,” the official added.

NTPC recently tied up with Japan-based Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ for a $300 million loan to part-finance its ongoing and new projects.

Meanwhile, the power ministry is gearing up for the 20% follow-on offer of state-run Power Finance Corporation, which is likely to be launched early next fiscal.

PFC would raise fresh equity to the tune of 15% and the government would divest a 5% stake in the company through the FPO.

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Religare Broking: Gets it right this time

Full marks to Religare managers for being adventurous with the broking ads

Readers will recall that I had recently dissed Religare’s corporate campaign. I found it to be quite hackneyed and boring. This is the one where they use children as the umbrella under which the various brands of the financial services company get highlighted.

Well, things are looking much perkier with Religare’s brand ads for its broking division. A couple of commercials are on air, and they are funny, zippy and pretty cool. This time, they have rightly decided to charter a new, risky route for what is quite obviously a serious product category. And by making the ads totally entertaining and massy, the company has a good chance of roping in first timers and fence sitters into the broking fold. Which apparently is the intention of the campaign.

In one commercial, an old village man borrows from the William Tell fable. He aims to shoot an apple off the head of a poor chap using an ancient bow and arrow. Naturally, the apple bearer panics. And to add to his trauma, the old shooter’s soda-bottle glasses crack. He flees from the scene. Then returns with an over-sized pumpkin on the head. And much to everyone’s joy and relief, the near-blind archer finds his mark. This ad is meant to communicate the bigness of Religare broking.

In another ad, a restless groom is being brought to his wedding ceremony in an ancient, run-down car that trudges along like a bullock cart. Finally, the car falls apart and the impatient bridegroom goes ballistic. The voice over says: “Don’t choose the wrong vehicle, even while riding the stock market.”

Now while the creative isn’t really Cannes Lion worthy, and god knows we get to watch humour ads of this sort all the time on the telly, what makes these commercials noteworthy is that such an over-the-top approach is being used for a category that mass consumers are wary of, very careful about, and often disinterested in.

It’s very tempting to play safe and take zero risks for a marketer in such a situation. Exactly as the way Religare managers chickened out with their very tired ‘children’ ad for their corporate effort. But for the broking brand, full marks for being adventurous and trying to do something different.

Am pretty sure Religare’s adventurous effort will pay off. And they could land up with more investors in the fold. And yes, this will hopefully make them revisit their corporate work.

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