The NTPC offering was the government's third divestment in the current fiscal during which it has a target of Rs 30,000 crore
Government-owned power utility major NTPC’s one-day offer for sale (OFS) through which the government sold 9.5% stake in the company was subscribed 1.7 times on Thursday. The government is reported to have mobilised around Rs11,400 crore by offloading nearly 78.32 crore shares at an average price of Rs145.91.
Domestic institutional investors including insurance companies and mutual funds were major bidders.
The NTPC offering was the government's third divestment in the current fiscal during which it has a target of Rs 30,000 crore. Last week the government garnered around Rs 3,100 crore by divesting its stake in crude refiner Oil India and around Rs 5,900 crore through a, OFS for NMDC in December. The government has, so far in FY13, mobilized about Rs 20,000 crore though divestments of its stake in these companies, which is about 67% of its target.
The government is eyeing another Rs5,000-Rs7,000 crore through divestment in some more state-owned companies. The mobilisation will help the government mover closer to its fiscal deficit target of 5.3% of GDP.
Data on BSE website showed that the NTPC OFS had generated a demand for about 132.85 crore shares and all those who bid at Rs145.55 or above have been allotted shares of the government-run power utility major. Market players said that the recent change in rules for OFS that of allowing institutional investors to bid for stocks at no margin helped the NPTC issue sail through.
Earlier, institutions had to put in full margin money while bidding in an OFS. Under the new rules, an institutional investor which is bidding in OFS without any upfront margin cannot revise its bid price downward, while those bidding with full margin money can do so.
The Sandi Group was fined $75,000 after delaying reports to the US government that more than 30 of its workers had died in Iraq
The US Department of Labor has fined a private security contractor $75,000 for failing to file timely reports on the deaths of workers in Iraq as required by law. The Sandi Group, based in Washington DC, delayed telling the Labor department that 30 of its employees had been killed while working for the company between 2003 and 2005, according to the department.
The Sandi Group, a privately held company known for employing large numbers of Iraqis as security guards, did not return requests for comment. Since 2005 the company has won US government contracts worth at least $80.9 million, according to a federal contracting database.
The fine, believed to be the largest ever levied against a single company for failing to report war zone casualties in a timely manner, is part of an enforcement crackdown that began after a ProPublica series highlighted problems with a government program designed to provide health benefits to civilian contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Timely reporting of work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities are vitally important to protect the interests of injured workers and their families," Gary A. Steinberg, acting director of the Department of Labor office which negotiated the settlement amount with the company, said in a prepared statement.
The Labor Department is responsible for administering an obscure government program called the Defense Base Act. The act requires that contractors working overseas for the U.S. government take out specialized insurance, similar to workers compensation, to provide medical treatment for injuries sustained on the job, or to pay death benefits in the event of work-related fatalities.
The ProPublica series found the system in shambles. Insurance companies routinely delayed payments and medical treatment to injured American workers, while charging taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars for the policies. The Labor Department failed to bring enforcement actions against companies that flouted the law, even when federal administrative judges urged the agency to act. Foreign workers, such as Iraqi and Afghan translators who helped U.S. troops, frequently at risk to their own lives, often received no benefits at all.
After the series ran, the department began publishing information on contractor deaths and injuries and posted report cards showing how quickly insurance companies reported casualties. They also vowed more aggressive enforcement.
Injured workers, however, say that problems remain. Marcie Hascall Clark has battled for years to receive medical treatment and lost wage payments for her husband, who was injured in Iraq. She says she hasn’t seen any improvement in a process she contends still moves too slowly. “The [Labor Department] is worse than ever,” said Clark, who runs a website for injured contractors.
As of December, 3,258 civilian contract workers had been killed or died in Iraq, and another 90,000 had reported injuries.
What if we were a mutual fund company and launched a new scheme in a bullish market? That would be the true test of stock-picking and market-timing skills. That’s exactly the test we are putting ourselves to
The long-term stockgrader, which has been running for just under four years, has proved its worth. Compounded returns of the portfolio were 38.37% over these years when returns from the Sensex were 16.34% while the best equity scheme, SBI Emerging Business Fund - Growth, returned 40.27%. Not bad for our portfolio.
The equity market has run up a lot now; we are possibly near a cyclical peak. This is a challenging period. Should new money be put to work now or should some profits be booked? What should be the strategy when bullishness is so high? This would be the right time to challenge our stock-picking and market-timing skills. We are, therefore, closing the existing long-term stockgrader and launching a revamped portfolio. We are excited about navigating the treacherous waters ahead. In one important way, the new table will be a big improvement. It will be a portfolio with specifed exposures, based on the following principles:
• At any time, there will be a maximum of 50 stocks;
• We are starting with a list of 20. This means that the portfolio starts with 60% in cash;
• The stock allocation will be equally weighted for each sector barring exceptional situations;
• Stocks will be picked only from from the large- and mega-cap segments of the Moneylife database.
We hope to not only beat the Sensex and the Nifty but also be as good as the best five large-cap mutual fund schemes over the long term.
To know about the stocks recommended, please see the latest issue of Moneylife.
Do write to us at [email protected] and tell us what you think of this intiative and the portfolio.