June 8, 2014


New India PM to State Firms: Profit or Privatize (PRASANTA SAHU, 6/04/14, WSJ)

India's new prime minister Narendra Modi plans to do more with state-controlled companies than use them as piggy banks to break into whenever the government needs a revenue boost. He plans to sell off the hopeless firms and try to fix the struggling few with potential. [...]

During its last time running the country, Mr. Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party showed that it would not shy away from privatization. It offloaded majority stakes in state-owned companies to private companies such as its sale of controlling stakes in Bharat Aluminium Co. Ltd. and Hindustan Zinc Ltd.500188.BY +3.33% to UK-based Vedanta Resources PLC.VED.LN +0.18%

This time in power, the BJP is likely to start with minority stake sales in companies such as Coal India533278.BY -0.03%, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd., Tehri Hydro Development Ltd. and defense firm Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., the official said.

While the previous government attempted similar sales, it was repeatedly blocked by opposition from the companies and bureaucrats not willing to give up control. Mr. Modi- thanks in part to his party's majority control of Parliament-is expected to be better able to force these sales through.

Posted by at June 8, 2014 8:02 AM

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