An attendee stands at the Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) news conference in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

ONGC Approves Rs 4,022-Crore Share Buyback 

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. will buy back shares worth Rs 4,022 crore as the government seeks payouts from cash-rich public sector units to bridge fiscal deficit.

India’s largest oil and gas explorer will repurchase up to 25 crore shares, representing 2.35 percent stake, at Rs 159 apiece, according to its exchange filing. It set Jan. 4 as the record or cut-off date to ascertain which shareholders will be eligible.

The government, which owns 67.48 percent in ONGC, may get Rs 2,714 crore from the buyback, according to BloombergQuint’s calculations. It has identified at least 11 state-run entities to raise funds through buyback to bridge the budget gap. In all, it has a target to mop up Rs 80,000 crore this financial year through divestments.

Shares of ONGC briefly fell after the announcement but recovered to trade 0.3 percent higher at 3:15 p.m. compared with a 0.1 percent decline in the benchmark Nifty 50 Index.