Kingfisher suspended by IATA for non-payment of dues

This is the second time since February two that the cash-strapped carrier has been suspended from ICH for not paying its dues. Earlier, its status was restored ten days later. It has now been suspended once again. Airlines and airline-associated companies join the IATA Clearing House to settle accounts for services provided by them to other airlines or firms

New Delhi: Beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines was today suspended for non-payment of dues for the second time in just over a month by the IATA from participating in a system which enables the airlines to settle their interline billings globally, reports PTI.

“IATA has suspended Kingfisher Airlines’ participation in the IATA Clearing House (ICH). This is because the airline did not settle its ICH account within the stipulated deadline,” IATA’s assistant director (corporate communications) Albert Tjoeng said in a statement from Singapore.

He said, “Kingfisher's participation in the ICH will be reinstated after the airline fulfils the ICH requirements.”

This is the second time since February two that the cash-strapped carrier has been suspended from ICH for not paying its dues. Earlier, its status was restored ten days later. It has now been suspended once again, IATA sources said.

Airlines and airline-associated companies join the IATA Clearing House to settle accounts for services provided by them to other airlines or firms.

The bank accounts of the airline, which is struggling to stay afloat, have been frozen by the income tax, service tax and excise and customs departments for failing to pay dues.

Crisis-ridden Kingfisher Airlines had last month also delayed joining the global airlines’ grouping ‘OneWorld’ due to its precarious financial position. It was slated to formally join the airline alliance on 10th February.

The airline, which never made a profit since its inception in May 2005, reported a net loss of Rs444.26 crore in the December quarter. It suffered a loss of Rs1,027 crore in 2010-11 and has a debt of Rs7,057.08 crore apart from over Rs4,000 crore of accumulated losses and a restructured long- term loan of around Rs7,000 crore.

With oil companies blocking fuel supplies and disrupting its flight schedules in the past few weeks, troubles have mounted for Kingfisher as its lenders have insisted they would not pump in money unless the promoters infused fresh equity.

The air carrier is understood to have been told by the bankers that it should get at least 25% of the Rs3,000 crore loan it is looking for in the form of fresh equity.

With the Airports Authority of India also putting Kingfisher on a ‘cash-and-carry’ mode for aeronautical services, its promoter and UB Group chief Vijay Mallya is likely to meet AAI top brass to clear its position on the huge dues to the state-run airports body.

As the airline has been operating a curtailed flight schedule, it also faces the prospect of losing a large number of its prime flying slots.

Though the government has made it clear that it does not want any airline to close down, it does not rule out suspension of its flying licence if safety is neglected.


RIL seeks $13/mmBtu price for coal-based methane

RIL said that the CBM price represented a “true arms length market price that meets all the requirements of price discovery and brings maximum benefits” to the government

New Delhi: Reliance Industries (RIL) has sought the government’s nod for selling gas that it will produce from coal seams in Madhya Pradesh, at a price close to $13 per million metric British thermal units (mmBtu), reports PTI.

RIL two weeks back wrote to the ministry of petroleum and natural gas saying its pricing formula of 12.67% of JCC, or Japan Customs-Cleared Crude, plus $0.26 per mmBtu had generated a demand six times the gas it plans to produce from the Sohagpur coal-bed methane (CBM) block by end-2014, official sources said.

At $100 per barrel oil price, CBM from RIL's Sohagpur CBM blocks in Madhya Pradesh will cost $12.93 per mmBtu.

The pricing formula RIL has proposed for CBM is different from the one natural gas from the company’s eastern offshore KG-D6 block is priced at. KG-D6 gas at cap crude oil price of $60 per barrel, translates into a sale price of $4.205 per mmBtu. Sohagpur CBM at $60 per barrel oil price would be $7.862 per mmBtu.

Sources said RIL told the ministry that it got 59 valid bids seeking about 70 mmscmd of gas in open bids that were invited as per the provisions of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) to discovery market price of CBM.

The company on 3rd February put out an advertisement proposing to price CBM from SP(West)-CBM-2001/1 and SP(East)-CBM-2001/1 blocks at 12.67% of JCC plus $0.26, plus 'V', where 'V' was the biddable number that users were asked to quote. 'V' could have been either positive or negative.

Sources said RIL in the letter to oil and gas ministry stated that it got a demand of 20.63 mmscmd (about six times the gas offered for sale under the process of price discovery) if the biddable parameter 'v' is kept at zero.

RIL will charge $0.15 per mmBtu as marketing margin over and above the CBM price and the customers would also have to pay for taxes/duties and transportation tariff.

The CBM price, it said, represented a “true arms length market price that meets all the requirements of price discovery and brings maximum benefits” to the government.

Sources said RIL warned against non-acceptance or modification of the proposed formula saying government's share of profit from the CBM production, royalty and taxes would be impacted by any such move.

The formula proposed by RIL is the same at which Petronet LNG, the nation’s largest liquefied natural gas importer, buys 7.5 million tonne per annum of LNG from RasGas of Qatar.

RasGas charges 12.67% of JCC and Petronet pays a further $0.26 per mmBtu for shipping the gas in its liquid form (LNG) from Qatar.


Share prices may resume uptrend: Wednesday Closing Report

Nifty has to close above 5,245 to regain the uptrend

The market settled down for the third day in a row on domestic concerns and dismal global cues. Yesterday we had mentioned that the Nifty may move down to the level of 5,160 and then to 5,100. Today the index fell to 5,171 but made a smart recovery of 49 points to close at 5,220. The Indian stock market will be closed on Thursday on account of a local holiday. If the benchmark manages to close above 5,245 on Friday, it may be seen as a first sign of reversal. After this we may see the Nifty reaching the level of 5,285 and then higher. However, if Nifty goes below today’s low, the decline may continue. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a volume of 76.85 crore shares.

The market opened in the negative tracking the weak global markets. Overnight, US stocks settled lower on worries about the European debt crisis and a slowdown in global recovery. On the domestic front, the depreciation of the rupee in early trade also weighed on investors. The Nifty opened at 5,207, down 15 points from its previous close, and the Sensex lost 46 points to open trade at 17,127.

Selling pressure in early trade saw all sectoral indices trading in the negative. Volatile trade was seen since the start of the day’s trade. However, select buying that began around 10.00am pushed the market into the green. The gains helped the indices hit their intraday highs in late morning trade. At the highs, the Nifty touched 5,244 and the Sensex rose to 17,239.

Institutional selling pressure in oil & gas, metal and power sectors pushed the market lower once again. The benchmarks then began a southward journey in the absence of any local cues. They fell to the day’s lows in the post-noon session with the Nifty falling to 5,171 and the Sensex going down to 17,009.

However, bargain hunting at lower levels resulted in a smart recovery and ensured a flat finish with a negative bias. The Nifty closed two points lower at 5,220 and the Sensex settled at 17,146, a cut of 28 points over its previous close.

The advance-decline ratio on the NSE 496:1219.

Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index shed 0.08% and the BSE Small-cap index fell by 0.61%.

The top sectoral gainers were BSE Realty (up 0.90%); BSE IT (up 0.78%); BSE Bankex (up 0.69%); BSE Healthcare (up 0.40%) and BSE TECk (up 0.32%). The leading losers were BSE Metal, BSE Oil & Gas (down 1.51% each); BSE PSU (down 0.95%); BSE Power (down 0.52%) and BSE Capital Goods (down 0.31%).

The key performers on the Sensex were Wipro (up 1.97%); HDFC Bank (up 1.52%); Bajaj Auto (up 1.13%); DLF (up 1.09%) and Infosys (up 1.07%). The major losers were Sterlite Industries (down 3.95%); NTPC (down 2.41%); Reliance Industries (down 1.94%); Bharti Airtel (down 1.91%) and BHEL (down 1.85%).

Jaiprakash Associates (up 6.39%); Reliance Power (up 5.85%); HCL Technologies (up 2.85%); HDFC Bank (up 1.99%) and Bajaj Auto (up 1.94%) were the main gainers on the Nifty. Sterlite Ind (down 4.43%); Sesa Goa (down 3.18%); NTPC (down 2.61%); Power Grid Corporation (down 2.30%) and Jindal Steel (down 2.18%) settled at the bottom of the index.

Markets in Asia closed in the red on renewed worries whether Greece would be able to manage its debt issues. An analyst pointed out that markets are expected to remain sensitive to European cues till 20th March, the Greece bond redemption date.

The Shanghai Composite declined 0.65%; the Hang Seng dropped 0.86%; the Jakarta Composite fell by 0.62%; the KLSE Composite tanked 0.95%; the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.64%; the Straits Times fell by 0.64%; the Seoul Composite was down 0.91% and the Taiwan Weighted closed 0.44% lower. At the time of writing, the key European indices were up between 0.28% and 0.72% and the US stock futures were in the positive.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of shares aggregating Rs241.22 crore on Tuesday while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities amounting to Rs179.91 crore.

Global rating agency Moody’s today downgraded ratings assigned to various debt programmes of public sector lender Bank of India (BoI) by one notch due to deteriorating asset quality, among others. The stock fell by 0.64% to close at Rs350 on the NSE.

HCL Technologies today said it has signed a five-year IT infrastructure outsourcing deal worth $300 million with Finnish recyclable product maker UPM. As part of the agreement, HCL will provide data centre, end user support, network services and professional IT services to UPM. HCL Tech closed at Rs495 on the NSE, up 2.83% over its previous close.

Infrastructure major Sadbhav Engineering has been declared as the lowest bidder for the four-laning of Gomati ka Chauraha-Udaipur section of National Highway 8 in Rajasthan. The Rs1,280 crore project is under the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) phase IV on design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis, the company said on Wednesday. The stock settled at Rs133 on the NSE, down 2.85%.


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