Chambal Fertiliser & Chemicals posts Rs1.2-crore loss in Q3 2012

Net sales of Chambal Fertiliser rose by 32% to Rs1,783.71 crore in the third quarter of the current fiscal.

Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals reported a net loss of Rs1.24 crore for the quarter ended 31 December 2011.

The company had reported a net profit of Rs107.42 crore in the year-ago period, it said in a filing to the BSE.
Net sales of the company, however, rose by 32% to Rs1,783.71 crore in the third quarter of the current fiscal from Rs1,352.70 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal.

The total expenditure of the company rose by 39% to Rs1,665.08 crore in the October-December 2011 quarter from Rs1,195.54 crore in the year-ago period.

Chambal has two fertiliser (urea) manufacturing plants located in Kota district of Rajasthan with an annual capacity of about 2 million tonne.

In the late afternoon, Chambal Fertiliser & Chemicals was trading at around Rs77.30 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1.53% down from the previous close.


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Govt to launch the process of allowing foreign airlines 49% stake in Indian carriers

Allowing foreign airlines to pick up stake in Indian carriers would mark a major policy shift. Earlier foreign airlines were not allowed to invest in Indian airlines though foreign direct investment was allowed

New Delhi: Accepting a major demand of the cash-strapped aviation industry, the government on Tuesday said it would soon launch the process to allow foreign airlines 49% stake in Indian carriers, reports PTI.

A meeting between finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and civil aviation minister Ajit Singh also decided to immediately release Rs150 crore for payment of portion of pending salaries and allowances of Air India employees, including pilots.

Replying to questions after the 75-minute meeting, Mr Singh said “the question was to allow foreign airlines to participate in foreign direct investment (FDI). I discussed it with the finance minister and he has agreed. We will bring out a note for the Cabinet now.”

Allowing foreign airlines to pick up stake in Indian carriers would mark a major policy shift. Earlier foreign airlines were not allowed to invest in Indian airlines though foreign direct investment was allowed.

Asked about the FDI cap on foreign airlines, he said “49 per cent FDI is already there. The question was to allow (international) airlines to participate in the FDI. The CoS (Committee of Secretaries) has also recommended that FDI limit should be raised to 49%."

Mr Singh said FDI was one of the factors which would help the industry to survive the current financial crisis. “We all know that the aviation industry is under a lot of stress.”

On Air India, Mr Singh said Rs150 crore would be “released soon” to the ailing national carrier.

Noting that Air India pilots had recently gone on an agitation, he said “the government has decided to release sufficient funds to pay at least some part of their wages and PLI (productivity-linked incentives).”

Asked by when would the amount be released to Air India, Mr Singh said “we have agreed, the finance ministry has agreed.

So, it should be released soon. It may not be too long. This is basically money owed to the airline by the government.”

Maintaining that this was “just the first part of it” and the total was around Rs600 crore, he said several ministries have to bear the cost of VVIP travel. “Some ministries have approved it, others have to approve it. I will talk to those ministers also.”

To a question on whether Air India would also be allowed to attract foreign investment, the minister said “Air India is also a company. Let the companies (investors) consider, let the proposals come for FDI, then only we will consider”.

On Air India’s debt restructuring, he said a formal meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) is likely to be convened next week “where we will consider the financial restructuring plan”.

Regarding the airlines’ demand to allow direct import of jet fuel, the minister said a Committee of Secretaries has recommended that direct import may be allowed. In that case, the airline companies would not have to pay sales tax.

The issue would also be placed before the GoM, he said.

Besides the two ministers, the crucial meeting was also attended by top officers of other ministries, banks and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Later talking to reporters, State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Pratip Chaudhuri said the meeting discussed different options for loan restructuring for Air India.

“Further lending to the airline would be difficult.

Therefore, the restructuring plan for Air India and the aviation sector would be discussed at a high-level meeting” later this week, he said.

The debt-ridden carrier has outstanding loans and dues worth Rs67,520 crore, of which Rs21,200 is working capital loan, Rs22,000 crore is long-term loan on fleet acquisition, Rs4,600 is vendor dues and an accumulated loss of Rs20,320 crore, according to official figures.

Tuesday’s meeting came almost a week after the Central Board of Excise and Customs froze Air India’s 11 bank accounts for non-payment of duties worth an estimated Rs300 crore. An Air India official had then said “we are making on account payments and having the accounts released”.

The GoM, at its last meeting in October last year, had decided that it could take a decision only after the RBI gave its nod to the debt restructuring plan.

In the past two months, RBI has had several rounds of meeting with Air India’s bankers, who also have met the airline's top brass to finalise the debt recast package.

The GoM is now likely to consider the recommendation by a panel of secretaries to infuse Rs23,000 crore into the national carrier over the next 10 years, of which Rs6,600 crore could be invested in the current fiscal ending 31st March.

As per its aircraft acquisition plans, Air India has already placed orders for 27 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and decided to take them on sale and leaseback mode. Two of these planes are expected to be delivered by March.

Under the leaseback mode, an airline purchases aircraft from the manufacturer and sells them to a leasing company and then gets the planes back on lease. This erases the aircraft purchase debt from the airline’s books.

Two days ago, a US court rejected a plea by American carriers challenging the US Exim Bank’s decision to give loan guarantees of $1.3 billion to support Air India’s fleet acquisition from Boeing.

The bank has also decided last October to give a $2.1 billion preliminary commitment to support future deliveries of Boeing planes to the national carrier, which was legally challenged by the industry body of all major US airlines.


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