- Cairn India a hot potato on debut
Hot Pursuit Tuesday, January 09, 2007 16:06 Hrs IST

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Cairn India a hot potato on debut

The volumes in Cairn India were large on the first day, with 3.26 crore and 6.7 crore shares changing hands on BSE and NSE, respectively.

The combined volume on the two bourses was 10 crore. It accounted for 30.4% of 32.88 crore shares it had offered through the IPO and 5.6% of Cairn Indiaís post-issue equity of Rs 1765.31 crore (176.531 crore shares of Rs 10 each).

The post-issue holding of parent Cairn Energy in Cairn India (CIL) is 67.6%.

The scrip settled at Rs 137.50 on BSE, a discount of 14% over the IPO price of Rs 160. The stock remained below the IPO price on BSE throughout the day, after a debut at Rs 140. The stock also hit a low of Rs 128.65 and a high of Rs 155.

The companyís weak debut was on account of concerns that its dispute with MRPL could delay crude oil sales from its Rajasthan fields, which have not started production as yet.

It may be recalled that Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Cairn's partner in Rajasthan had dragged the company to the market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India, complaining that the its subsidiary, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL), did not bear sole responsibility for ensuring midstream development (pipeline for the transport of crude oil). That was just before the Cairn IPO was to take off last month.

MRPL is the government nominee for the offtake of crude oil from Rajasthan. Cairn India expects to resolve its row with MRPL in the next few months.

Cairnís listing also came at a time, when oil prices declined sharply which also weighed on the counter. Oil prices have fallen 9% so far in calendar 2007, amid an unusually warm US winter.

In the first six months to June 2006, CILís gross production from existing oil assets Ravva, Lakshmi and Gauri was 87,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd). Of this, CIL had a working interest in 24,000 boepd. (22.5% working interest in Ravva field in Andhra Pradesh and 40% in Lakshmi and Gauri fields in Gujarat).

The company intends to utilize a major portion of the IPO proceeds to develop the Rajasthan block, and for additional drilling in Ravva and Cambay (Gujarat) blocks.

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