Coal India (CIL)'s offer-for-sale was oversubscribed by 1.04 times just five minutes before the issue closed at 3.30 pm, after languishing till as late as 2.55 pm when the subscription had barely crossed the half-way mark at 57 percent.  

Lack of enthusiasm among retail investors spoiled the offer, with only 42.5 percent, or 5.36 crore shares being subscribed in that segment, as against 12.63 crore shares.

The non-retail portion saw 1.2 times oversubscription at 60.83 crore shares as against the offer of 50.53 crore shares, read BusinessLine.

The indicative price in the non-retail segment was ₹358.48 per share and in case of retail investors, it was ₹360.65.

The sudden spike in subscription just before closing raises eyebrows whether state-controlled financial institutions 'rescued' the stake sale.

Coal being unloaded

In Coal India, the government is offloading 31.58 crore or 5% of its holding through the public offer, with an option to offload another 5%. It had fixed the floor price at ₹358 per share, translating into about ₹22,600 crore from the sale.

For retail investors, the government had announced 5 percent discount to the bid price entered by them. Also, for the first time, 20% of the book was reserved for retail investors, defined as those buying up to 2 lakh shares.  

Fearing the disinvestment will gradually lead to privatisation, trade unions on Thursday said they would hold 'symbolic demonstrations,' to protest against the stake sale and warned of a possible strike post discussions by all central trade unions.

CIL is India's largest listed employer with over 3.7 lakh employees.

The Coal India scrip closed at ₹360.85 on Friday, down 3.81% from its previous close on Thursday.