A trader counting 100-rupee notes in India. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

India Said to Seek $2.7 Billion State Firms’ Cash Via Buybacks

(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government asked state-run companies to buy back shares as it seeks to raise as much as 200 billion rupees ($2.7 billion) to meet the fiscal deficit target, according to people familiar with the matter.

Oil & Natural Gas Corp., NMDC Ltd., Indian Oil Corp. and Oil India Ltd. are among companies that have been asked to repurchase shares, the people said asking not to be named as the information is not public. A decision on the pricing has been left to boards, they said.

The government has raised 97 billion rupees selling state assets since April 1, a little over one-tenth of what it needs to cut the budget deficit to 3.3 percent of gross domestic product this fiscal year. National Aluminium Co., NLC India Ltd. and KIOCL Ltd. are also among firms asked to consider a buyback, the people said.

Finance ministry spokesman D.S. Malik didn’t immediately respond to two phone calls to his office.

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