Investors throng collection centers for Upper Tamakoshi IPO

KATHMANDU, Feb 24: Thousands of depositors of Employment Provident Fund (EPF) and staff members of EPF and other lending partners of Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project Ltd (UTKHPL) thro-nged collection centers across the country on the first day of the project’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) on Monday.

UTKHPL opened application for IPO to the depositors of EPF, staff members of lending institutions and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) on Monday. The application for locals of Dolakha, where the project is located, will be opened only from April 1, according to UTKHPL.

Citizens Investment Trust (CIT) is the issue-manager of UTKHPL. The shares will have face value of Rs 100 each.
The IPO is the largest in Nepal’s capital market. EPF, Nepal Telecom, CIT and Rastriya Beema Sansthan have provided loans of Rs 10 billion, Rs 6 billion, Rs 2 billion and Rs 2 billion, respectively, to UTKHPL.

The 456-megawatt hydropower company has allocated 10.59 million units of shares to the locals of Dolakha, 18,299,520 units to the depositors of the EPF (as of July 30, 2010) and 3,049,920 units to the staff of lending institutions and 4,066,560 units to the staffs of UTKHPL and its largest promoter NEA.

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The remaining 15 percent (15.89 million units) out of 49 percent public shares to the general public will be floated in the next round after getting the approval from the Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon), according to the officials of UTKHPL.

CIT officials say the turnout of applicants remained very high across the country.

The company has fixed 65 branches of Rastriya Banijya Bank Ltd, four branches of Janata Bank Ltd, three branches of Machhapuchhre Bank Ltd, two branches of Citizens Bank International and one branch of City Development Bank Ltd as form collection centers for EPF depositors apart from CIT main office and NCM Merchant Banking Ltd in capital.

Likewise, UTKHPL has also fixed fifteen branches of various development banks in various parts of the country to collect the forms from the staff of NT and NEA. Staff of EPF, CIT and RBS will have to submit the application on bulk through the issue manager.

Sushil Kumar Aryal, spokesperson of CIT, told Republica that aspiring investors have collected 40,000 forms from CIT office alone on Monday. “Submission of forms is also encouraging. We, however, will be able to give collection figures only on Tuesday as figures from collection center are coming,” he added.

Investors’ turnout was encouraging in places outside the Kathmandu Valley as well. CIT Spokesperson Aryal told Republica that they have sent a total of 160,000 forms to various districts. “Many collection centers outside the valley are already running out of forms. They are asking us to send more forms,” he added. An official of CIT told Republica that they expect around 300,000 out of its 400,000 depositors to apply for shares of UTKHPL. Form collection centers will close on March 9 at the earliest. However, the project has hinted that it may extend the deadline to April 29. NEA holds 41 percent stake in the mega project, while Nepal Telecom (6 percent), CIT (2 percent), RBS (2 percent) are the other promoters of the UTKHPL which is expected to generate the electricity by 2016.

Source : Republica