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Shipping Corp. of India to Raise $258 Million From Public Offer

Shipping Corp. of India Ltd., the nation’s largest sea-cargo carrier, will sell shares at the top of its price range in its public offering, raising 11.6 billion rupees ($258 million).

Shipping Corp. will sell the shares at 140 rupees apiece, the company said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange today. Investors bid for about 408.6 million shares, or 4.83 times the 84.6 million stock on offer, according to data posted on the National Stock Exchange website on Dec 3.

The sale is part of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s bid to raise 400 billion rupees from asset sales this fiscal year to help fund construction of roads, ports and hospitals. Shipping Corp. will use the proceeds to purchase vessels, according to the offer document.

SBI Capital Markets Ltd., IDFC Capital Ltd. and ICICI Securities Ltd. were the advisers for the share sale, which opened Nov. 30.

The freight carrier plans to spend 26.6 billion rupees on nine vessels, according to the document. Shipping Corp. shares fell 0.5 percent to 144.5 rupees at the 3:30 p.m. close of trading in Mumbai, where the company is based.

MOIL Ltd., India’s largest producer of manganese ore, earlier this week drew at least 640 billion rupees of bids in its initial public offering as investors placed orders for 56 times the shares offered. State-owned Coal India Ltd.’s IPO in October received demand for 15 times the shares available.

Shipping Corp. is selling new shares, while the government is offering part of its stake in the sale. The company planned to sell stock at 135 rupees to 140 rupees apiece.

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