Shares of Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corp. fell the most on record after its promoter, the central government, announced its plan to pare stake in the company through an offer-for-sale.

The government will sell 20% of its shareholding in IRCTC—authorised by Indian Railways to offer catering services, online tickets and packaged drinking water, under the brand name Rail Neer, at stations and trains—through the OFS.

The initial sale will be for 15% stake or 2.4 crore shares, while it will retain a greenshoe option of selling another 5% stake or 80 lakh shares, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey had said in a tweet on Wednesday.

The floor price of the OFS, which opened for subscription for non-retail investors on Thursday, has been set at Rs 1,367 apiece, a 15.4% discount to Wednesday’s closing price of the stock. The OFS will open for retail investors on Friday.

The government, according to the latest shareholding pattern, held 87.4% stake in IRCTC. It intends to lower holding to 67.4% after the sale.

“Once things start to normalise, it is a monopoly business. The discount is good enough to attract retail investors, and one must buy into this,” Dharmesh Kant, independent market expert, told BloombergQuint.

According to Urmil Shah of IDBI Capital Markets, a retail investor who has a 12-month time horizon should subscribe to the OFS. “As more trains resume, the e-ticketing business will benefit, which is more than 70% of total EBIT. They can then also resume their original menu for the catering business and can increase prices. Other segments should also see improvement in FY22/23,” Shah told BloombergQuint over the phone.

Shares of IRCTC fell as much as 13.1%—the most since the company went public last year—to Rs 1,405 apiece in early trade on Thursday. The stock is down for the third straight day.

Yet, all three analysts tracking IRCTC have a ‘buy’ rating. The average of Bloomberg consensus 12-month price targets implies an upside of 16%.



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