Godrej Properties to raise up to Rs3,000 crore for expansion

Godrej Properties plans to raise around Rs3,000 crore through debt or equity to fund its expansion plans over the next two-three years

After its Rs462-crore initial share sale, real-estate developer Godrej Properties Ltd on Tuesday said it plans to raise around Rs3,000 crore through debt or equity to fund its expansion plans over the next two-three years, reports PTI.

"We plan to raise Rs2,000-Rs3,000 crore over the next two-three years to fund expansion plans," Godrej Group chairman Adi Godrej told reporters on the sidelines of the company's listing ceremony in Mumbai today.

The company was looking at various options to raise money, including the qualified institutional placement route, Mr Godrej said, adding that the promoters will dilute stake from the current 86% in the event of a qualified institutional placement (QIP).

Godrej Properties is currently undertaking several projects across 10 cities, which are at various stages of development, Mr Godrej said.

Moving ahead, the company expects to become a major player in the affordable housing segment, by offering housing units in the range of Rs25-Rs30 lakh.

"In the period ahead, we will see affordable housing picking up strongly in the country. We are very committed to play a significant role in this segment," he said.
 

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Sugar prices surge to all-time high at Rs4,250/quintal

Demand for the ongoing marriage season and approaching festival of 'Makar Sakranti' might further boost buying activity in the face of tight supply

Sugar prices on Tuesday rose to Rs4,250 per quintal at the wholesale market on increased buying for the current festival and marriage season amid widening demand-supply gap, reports PTI.

The sweetener, which is already trading double at Rs41 per kg in the retail market over the last one year, is likely to scale more heights as demand for the commodity rose sharply during the last fortnight among bakers and hoteliers for major events like Christmas and New Year, market analysts said.

They said that the demand for the ongoing marriage season and approaching festival of 'Makar Sakranti' might further boost the buying activity in the face of tight supply.

As per the consumer affairs ministry, sugar prices have gone up to Rs 41 per kg in the local market due to a demand-supply gap.

Traders at the Delhi wholesale market said the sweetener might become more costlier as it has risen to Rs4,150-Rs4,250 per quintal in bulk trading against Rs3,590-Rs3,700 per quintal on 19th December.

They said there is restricted supply from mills on account of a fall in production, while bulk users like soft drink manufacturers and retailers have placed more orders.

Sugar medium and small grade prices jumped further by Rs100 each to Rs4,150-Rs4,250 and Rs4,140-Rs4,240 a quintal respectively. It had gained Rs200 in the previous session.

Similarly, the sugar mill-gate prices, at which the companies sell from factories without duty, also rose in the range of Rs100 to Rs70 per quintal.

The sugar from Kinoni and Mawana mills rose by Rs80 and Rs70 to Rs4,000 and Rs3,970 per quintal respectively. Dorala mills rate rose by Rs100 to Rs3,980 per quintal.

A senior official with a leading sugar firm said that the rise in domestic price is in sync with global prices, which touched $718 (Rs33,229) a tonne in London.

The continued restriction imposed by the Uttar Pradesh government on the movement of imported raw sugar also has a bearing on the recent spurt in sugar prices, he added.

Domestic sugar companies, which had contracted to import over five million tonnes of raw sugar till 15th December have gone slow on further contracts, even though the country needs another two million tonne to meet the demand-supply gap.

Sugar production from domestically-grown sugarcane is pegged at 16 million tonnes, while annual demand is 23 million tonnes. The gap is being met through imports.

Mill delivery medium and second grade followed suit and edged up by the same margin at Rs4,050-Rs4,150 and Rs4,040-Rs4,140 per quintal.

Following are today's rates in Rs per quintal: Sugar ready M-30 Rs4,150-Rs4,250 and S-30 Rs4,140-Rs4,240; Mill delivery M-30 Rs4,050-Rs4,150 and S-30 Rs4,040-Rs4,140.

Sugar mill gate prices (excluding duty): Kinonni Rs4,000, Asmoli Rs3,910, Mawana Rs3,970, Titabi Rs3,900,Thanabhavan Rs3,890, Budhana Rs3,890, Dorala Rs3,980.
 

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Bharti Airtel to buy 70% in Warid Telecom, to invest $300 million

The purchase will make Bharti the newest foreign company to make inroads into the fast-growing Bangladeshi mobile market

Bharti Airtel Ltd, India's number one cellular operator on Tuesday received the nod from Bangladesh's telecom regulator to purchase 70% stake in Warid Telecom and to invest $300 million in the company.

"The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has approved Airtel's proposed $300 million investment to buy Abu Dhabi group's 70% stake in Warid Telecom," BTRC chairman Zia Ahmed said. A Bharti Airtel spokesperson said that the company will keep pursuing international opportunities.

This deal will enable Bharti Airtel to enter the lucrative neighbourhood market. The nod comes after six months of pursuit since the Abu Dhabi group put its stake on sale.

Mr Ahmed said that Airtel would take over 70% stake in Warid by creating new shares possibly at a nominal price.

"The BTRC has given the go-ahead to transfer Abu Dhabi group's shares in Warid Telecom to Bharti Airtel," Mr Ahmed said.

The purchase will make Bharti the newest foreign company to make inroads into the fast-growing Bangladeshi mobile market. Launched in 2007, Warid has nearly three million subscribers in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has till October 2009, 52 million mobile subscribers, a number expected to rise to 100 million by 2015.

Airtel is the fourth foreign company to enter the Bangladesh market. Egyptian mobile operator Orascom has taken over Sheba while Singapore's State-owned Singtel has bought 45% stake in Bangladesh Telecom.

Airtel's move into Bangladesh's market comes after its plan to buy a stake in South Africa's MTN collapsed in September last year as Pretoria said that such a merger could lead to MTN losing its national character.

Warid is the sixth-largest mobile phone operator in Bangladesh and has so far invested $600 million in its business.

Zia Ahmed said "We hope Airtel's investments would cross $1 billion in the next few years."
 

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