India approves sale of its national shipping line

India approves sale of its national shipping line 


India’s government has approved the sale of a majority stake in the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI).

The government would divest its shareholding of 63.75 percent in the Mumbai-based shipping company.

The government will also transfer management control to a strategic buyer, according to the country’s Ministry of Finance.

The sale is part of India’s larger divestment program, which also includes Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), Tehri Hydro Development Corporation India Limited (THDCIL) and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO).

In 2015, India reinitiated the policy of strategic disinvestment in order to open up sectors for private enterprise to bring efficiency in management that would contribute to general economic development.

SCI was established in 1961 by the merger of Eastern Shipping Corporation and Western Shipping Corporation. SCI’s owned fleet includes more than sixty bulkers, tankers, containerships, passenger vessels, gas carriers and offshore supply vessels.

Due to its diversified fleet, there may not be a large number of bidders to purchase the stake in SCI, the company’s former Chairman and Managing Director SC Hajara was cited by Bloomberg as saying.

“I’m not very sure whether too many companies either in India or abroad will have interest (to buy) if it’s thrown open,” Hajara said in an interview.