Bankers ask Kingfisher to infuse Rs800 crore fresh equity

Bankers have made it clear that Kingfisher’s promoters will have to infuse Rs800 crore worth of fresh equity if they are to consider a second restructuring of existing debt even as opposition mounted to any bailout of the private carrier

Mumbai: A crucial board meeting of Kingfisher airlines last night finalised the financial results of the cash-strapped carrier which has been asked by its lenders to infuse Rs800 crore worth of fresh equity, reports PTI.

The airlines would on Tuesday file its financial results for the second quarter of 2011-12 approved by the board which met for over 10 hours here.

Kingfisher chief Vijay Mallya will hold a press conference here at 12 noon.

Yesterday’s meeting is understood to have discussed various options of restructuring existing debt.

There was also speculation that a rejig of the management may take place but there was no official word on this from the airline.

Bankers have made it clear that Kingfisher’s promoters will have to infuse Rs800 crore worth of fresh equity if they are to consider a second restructuring of existing debt even as opposition mounted to any bailout of the private carrier.

The bankers have asked the troubled airline to come out with a ‘credible’ plan.

The lenders—a 13-bank consortium led by State Bank of India (SBI), who were yet to decide on ways to soften the troubled airline’s Rs7,057.08 crore debt burden, are due to meet Kingfisher management here today.

“Bankers want more information on their fleet, equity, continuation of fuel supply. Banks can come in as lenders not promoter. We will respond how it unfolds,” said Pratip Chaudhuri, chairman of SBI which leads the 13-bank consortium that has financed Kingfisher.

On whether the bank will consider making fresh advances to Kingfisher, SBI managing director Hemant Contractor said, “We have to be satisfied about the viability of the company.

There is no point restructuring if the company’s operations are not going to be viable.

“We have asked them to come up with some fresh funds if the banks are to at all consider their request for restructuring. We want to see more funds coming from the company itself...” Mr Contractor said. SBI has the largest exposure to Kingfisher—Rs1,400 crore--among the lenders.

Amid the debate over bailout for Kingfisher, SpiceJet chief Neil Mills said the government should not use taxpayers’ money to revive a private sector company.

On his part, Mr Mallya said he is not seeking taxpayers’ money.

“No bailout involving taxpayers’ money. V want working capital management assistance.” he said in his latest tweet.

The debt-ridden airline continued with flight cancellations for the eighth straight day. The airline did not operate at least 40 flights on Monday.

With prime minister Manmohan Singh saying that the government would consider ways and means to help his airline come out of the crisis, Mr Mallya said in another tweet: “The Hon’ble PM is an economist and understands the importance of connectivity that goes together with economic growth. Why such debate (on bailout) then?” 

He also criticised the media for using the term ‘bailout’ and making the matter ‘so sensational’.

Amid the talk of Kingfisher seeking government assistance, Bajaj group patriarach Rahul Bajaj said on Sunday private sector should not be bailed out and ‘those who die must die”. Opposition parties including BJP and CPI-M have opposed any bailout for the private airline.

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Infosys sticks to FY11-12 revenue guidance amid Euro debt crisis

Infosys, the Bangalore-based company had lowered its guidance, with revenues expected to be in the range of $7.08-$7.20 billion, (17.1%-19.1% growth year-on-year) as against $7.13-$7.25 billion it had expected earlier

Mumbai: The country's second largest software exporter Infosys on Monday retained its guidance of 17%-19% revenue growth in FY11-12 notwithstanding the persisting Eurozone debt crisis, reports PTI.

“I hope the developments in the Eurozone area will be in an orderly fashion so that the companies can plan, unlike the 2008 crisis,” Infosys chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan told reporters here on the sidelines of the India Economic Summit 2011 yesterday.

He added that any change in guidance would be made in the next quarter results, as by early January its clients finalise their IT budgets.

Italy, which has been at the centre of the Eurozone crisis, now has its premier-designate and economist Mario Monti trying to form a new government as the nation tries to avoid financial disaster.

In Greece, Lucas Papademos has been sworn in as prime minister after his predecessor George Papandreou was forced to step down following a call for a referendum on a eurozone rescue package for the debt-laden country.

The Bangalore-based company had lowered its guidance, with revenues expected to be in the range of $7.08-$7.20 billion, (17.1%-19.1% growth year-on-year) as against $7.13-$7.25 billion it had expected earlier.

The debt crisis in Europe and the unemployment and economic uncertainties in the US are major concerns for the Indian software firms, which get more than 80% revenues from these markets.

With the uncertainties prevailing, it is expected that clients may cut discretionary spends.

Talking about expansion, Mr Gopalakrishnan said, “We are working on setting up a development centre in Indore. We are looking for a site.”

Infosys will spend Rs100 crore in the first phase and employ 5,000 people.

Infosys also said it plans to source its entire energy requirement from renewable sources in the next five years.

“Right now 20% of our energy consumption is from renewable sources, and by 2017 we want to take that to 100%. As a user of renewable energy, we want to actually drive consumption. We want to be a consumer of that,” Mr Gopalkrishnan said.

Mr Gopalkrishnan also expressed reservations about the present consumption-driven economic model and strongly advocated that the country should not follow it.

“I believe, it is not sustainable because per capita we are consuming too much power, too much water, too much resources and things like that,” he said.

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2G scam trial; RADAG official identifies signature of accused

Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group president AN Sethuraman identified the signatures of Hari Nair, senior vice president of the firm who, in the capacity of company secretary of Swan Telecom, had allegedly signed its documents such as memorandum and the articles of association

New Delhi: Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) president AN Sethuraman on Monday told a Delhi court that it ‘appeared’ that Hari Nair, senior vice president of the firm and an accused in second generation (2G) spectrum scam, had certified documents accompanying applications for 15 circles for UAS licences on behalf of Swan Telecom, reports PTI.

“The signature appears to be of Mr Hari Nair,” Mr Sethuraman, testifying as second prosecution witness, told special CBI judge OP Saini.

He identified the signatures of Mr Nair who, in the capacity of company secretary of Swan Telecom, had allegedly signed its documents such as memorandum and the articles of association.

Mr Sethuraman said all the applications for Unified Access Services (UAS) licences on behalf of Swan Telecom were signed and submitted by him (the witness) in March 2007.

“I had submitted applications for 15 circles for UAS licences on behalf of Swan Telecom in March 2007,” he said.

Mr Sethuraman said he was on the payroll of RADAG but submitted the applications for UAS licenses in the capacity as an authorised signatory of Swan Telecom.

The witness said he had informed the Department of Telecom (DoT) about the change of name from Swan Capital Pvt Ltd to Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd by a letter on 6 March 2007. The letter accompanied a certificate issued by Nair, he said.

“I have been shown one letter dated 6 March 2007, addressed to DoT, Sanchar Bhawan, New Delhi. The same bears my signature. Through this letter, I had intimated DoT regarding change of name of company, that is, from Swan Capital Pvt Ltd to Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd,” he said.

Reliance ADAG-led Reliance Telecom (RTL) has been put on trial in 2G spectrum allocation case on the ground that Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) was ‘just a mask’ for it.

Mr Sethuraman said besides Assam and North-East, Swan Telecom had applied for UAS licences in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerela, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajsathan, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh (east and west telecom circle) and Mumbai telecom circles.

Earlier, Mr Sethuraman, in his statement to CBI on 24 March 2011, had also identified the signatures of Mr Nair on the memorandum of association and article of association of STPL.

He had said Mr Nair had certified that equity share holder of STPL does not have substantial equity in more than one licencee company.

He had also told the agency that he was not aware why STPL withdrew its applications for licences in Assam and North-East telecom circle.

Mr Sethuraman’s cross-examination would continue on Tuesday.

General manager of Reliance Infrastructure, a group firm of Reliance ADA group, Ashish Karyekar, who was to depose before the court, was present but could not be examined due to paucity of time.

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