Companies & Sectors
Kingfisher to sell properties in Mumbai and Goa to raise funds

Kingfisher asked HDFC Securities to do a valuation of the two properties -- the Kingfisher House in Mumbai and a villa in Goa, which are likely to fetch Rs120 crore at current market price

Mumbai: Beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines said it plans to sell two of its unused properties in Mumbai and Goa to partly repay staggering loans of about Rs7,500 crore, reports PTI.

These properties are likely to fetch Rs120 crore -- Rs90 for the Mumbai property and Rs30 crore for the Goan villa -- going by the current market value.

"The Kingfisher House has been lying vacant after the staff moved to our new offices at 'The Qube' in Mumbai, and at that time itself, on our own accord, we approached the banks with a proposal to liquidate this unutilised asset," the airline spokesperson Prakash Mirpuri said.

At Thursday's meeting of the consortium of 17 lenders and the airline's management the pending proposal was discussed, he said.

Subsequently, the consortium appointed HDFC Securities to do a valuation of the two pledged properties.

"We have asked HDFC Securities to do a valuation of the two properties -- the Kingfisher House in Mumbai and a villa in Goa -- which are already pledged with the lenders. We have asked them to revert in 15 days," a senior banker, who was present at the meeting this morning, told PTI.

The Vijay Mallya run carrier owes banks Rs7,500 crore in arrears and additional interest since January when it stopped servicing their loans.

The meeting, attended by most of the 17 lenders and airline's chief executive Sanjay Aggarwal, was inconclusive.

The lenders decided to meet again over the next 2-3 weeks, the banker added.

The meeting was held at the headquarters of the State Bank of India which is the leader of consortium.

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Aditya Birla group buys Canada-based Terrace Bay Pulp Mill

Grasim Industries would hold 40% stake in the special purpose vehicle, AV Terrace Bay Inc while its Thailand-based sister concern Thai Rayon Public would hold the remaining stake

Mumbai: The Aditya Birla Group said it has agreed to buy the assets of the Canadian company Terrace Bay Pulp Mill located in northwestern Ontario, for an undisclosed sum, reports PTI.

"The acquisition of the Terrace Bay Mill is a major strategic move for us, as it will be geared to provide superior quality pulp for our VSF plants worldwide in which we enjoy global leadership," Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said in a release.

For the buyout, the Group will be creating a special purpose vehicle called AV Terrace Bay Inc Canada.

Grasim Industries proposes to hold a 40% stake in AV Terrace Bay Inc and the remaining 60% is proposed to be held by Thai Rayon Public Co, Thailand, a group company.

The transaction is expected to close by the month-end, subject to regulatory approvals.

Over the three years, Grasim would be contributing $44 million, out of the total equity contribution of $110 million, it said.

The Aditya Birla Group will invest over $250 million in a phased manner to convert the mill to produce dissolving grade pulp with an annual capacity of 2.8 lakh tonne.

Until the conversion, which is likely to be in FY16, the mill will produce and sell paper grade pulp. The paper grade pulp mill is likely to commence operations by this October.

The Terrace Bay Mill is considered an anchor mill due to its location and its significant consumption of residual chips produced by the regional saw mills.

The transaction, it said, is subject to court approvals in Canada and other regulatory approvals in Canada, Thailand and India.

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Housing industry seeks more interest rate concessions for poor

Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry has called for more interest rate concessions for lower middle and economically weaker sections for buying home

Mumbai: While welcoming extension of interest subsidy scheme for this year, real estate industry body Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) has called for more interest rate concessions for lower middle and economically weaker section of the society for housing, reports PTI.

"The extension of the scheme offering concessions in interest rate is a positive step, which will act as an incentive to home loan borrowers," MCHI President Paras Gundecha said in a statement.

Under the scheme, interest subsidy at the rate of one percent on housing loans upto Rs15 lakh where the cost of the house does not exceed Rs25 lakh is given. The scheme announced last year was extended to FY13 as well.

A budgetary provision of Rs400 crore has been made for 2012-13 for implementing the scheme.

The realty body has however called for more interest rate concessions for lower middle and economically weaker sections to help them own a house.

"These sections are the worst hit as they cannot afford a house due to high cost of housing triggered by increase in cost of inputs and finance. The government should extend the benefit of lower rate of interest of 6-7%, currently available to some government and public sector employees, to all, so that housing would really become affordable in the true sense of the word," Gundecha added.

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