Bloomberg/ New Delhi
Indian Energy Exchange Ltd is in talks with strategic investors to sell a minority stake in its fledgling gas unit. The largest electricity trading platform in India may sell as much as 49% in the venture in a series of deals, Rajiv Srivastava, chief executive officer of IEX said in an interview. The first accord may be signed in three months, he said. State-run gas supplier GAIL India Ltd in June said it was considering buying a stake.
The zero-debt company is pinning its hopes on India’s plans to expand the use of natural gas to quell chronic air pollution choking its cities. The government aims to raise the share of gas in its energy mix to 15% over the next decade from about 6% and is seeking $60bn of investment in pipelines, city distribution and import terminals.
Natural gas trading opportunities exceed those in power transactions, Srivastava said. “We don’t need money to run the gas exchange, clearly, we need partnerships” to expand the market, he said, explaining the reasons for seeking a stake sale.
Still, India needs “a few policy enablers” for the gas market to take off, Srivastava said, and IEX is working with the government on areas including pricing, taxation and transmission to boost the fuel’s appeal, he added.
IEX’s shares have outperformed India’s equity benchmark this year and analysts expect they will continue to do so for the next 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Meanwhile, the electricity sector is throwing up new growth opportunities, as buyers increasingly avoid being locked into years-long contracts and turn to spot or shorter-term purchases.
Along with an increase in shorter-term contracts, the burgeoning market for exchange-traded power will help the company deliver “double-digit growth” in revenue and profit in each of the next three years, Srivastava said.
Nearly 87% of India’s electricity is sold through long-term contracts spanning as many as 25 years. Exchanges get barely 5% of the total share. Srivastava said that share could rise five-fold in as many years as old contracts expire, regulations change and the exchange rolls out new products such as longer-duration contracts.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Libya’s NOC says oil production set to rise
South African government to help fund national airline’s rescue
Morgan Stanley warns Nasdaq 100 may fall more than 20% from peak
Mistry family wants to exit Tata Group after rebuff on borrowing
Asian markets track US, Europe rout as restrictions return
Sensex marks longest losing streak in almost two months; rupee weakens
Credit Suisse, UBS fight for China bankers in talent war
Gold investors take new aim at miners with returns falling short
Apple chief says fires and storms show the impact of climate change