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STC not likely to be privatised

November 23, 2004 16:49 IST
The privatisation programme of the public sector State Trading Corporation has been put on the backburner, its CMD Aravind Pandalai said on Tuesday.

"The privatisation programme of STC is on the backburner. At least that is what it appears to me and I have not heard anything from the government for sometime on privatisation," he said

"The UPA government had announced that it would not divest profit making companies and STC is a profit making and dividend-paying company. I do not think we should worry much about that," he said.

The previous NDA government had invited bids for advisors to help divest 65.02 per cent of its shareholdings in STC to a strategic buyer in 2001.

Pandalai added that his main concern was to grow the business and not concerned with the ownership issue. The company has to grown and added value to the shareholders.

STC has paid a final dividend of five per cent for the year 2003-04 to the government, its main shareholders. It declared an interim dividend of 15 per cent this year. The Corporation was able to achieve higher profits by negotiating better trading margins.

Pandalai said STC is aiming to have a turnover of $3 billion in the current fiscal from a little over $2 billion (about Rs 8300 crore) in the last fiscal and it has already notched up a turnover of Rs 5050 crore (Rs 50.5 billion) in the first half of 2004-05, an increase of 54 per cent over the same period a year ago.