Upper Tamakoshi Hydro Project makes largest ever share offering


    upper_tamakoshi_PHKATHMANDU, FEB 13 – The Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project on Thursday made the largest share offering in the country’s history by floating 36,006,000 shares worth Rs 3.6 billion.

    The shares have been allocated to locals of Dolkha district, depositors at the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and employees of the organizations that are developing and financing the project.

    The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is the key developer of the project while the financiers are the EPF, Nepal Telecom (NT), Citizens Investment Trust (CIT) and Rastriya Beema Sansthan (RBS).

    The shares in the national pride project have a base value of Rs 100 apiece. The Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) gave the go-ahead to issue them in the first week of January. Applications to buy shares can be filed from February 23 to March 9.

    Bigyan Shrestha, chief of Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Limited (UTHL), said that tremendous anticipation had been building up for the allocation of shares, and that the response to the issue was likely to be overwhelming. “We are expecting a huge turnout,” Shrestha said. According to a notice published by the project, 10,590,000 shares worth Rs 1.05 billion have been set aside for the local people of Dolkha. Depositors having accounts at the EPF as of July 30, 2010 will get 18,299,520 shares.

    Similarly, 1,524,960 shares have been earmarked for EPF employees, 304,992 shares for CIT employees, 914,976 shares for NT staff, 304,992 shares for RBS employees, 3,049,920 shares for UTHL employees and 4,066,560 shares for NEA employees. The ordinary shares cannot be traded for a period of three years.

    The NEA will have a 41 percent stake in the company, NT 6 percent and CIT and RBS 2 percent each. Dolkha locals will get 10 percent of the shares.

    UTHL has stated that the locals of Lamabagar and Gauri Shankar VDCs—the project affected areas, will be able to buy up to 300 shares, while people in other VDCs and municipalities in the district will get 70 shares.

    According to Shrestha, 15 percent of the total shares will be offered to the general public in an initial public offering. “It may take around six months since we need to conclude this ongoing process, hold the annual general meeting and complete the task of credit rating,” Shrestha said.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post