Companies & Sectors
MERC rejects RInfra’s attempt to cancel PPA with KSK Energy

The state power regulator also orders Anil Ambani group company to make a fresh bid for licence to distribute power in Mumbai suburbs

In another major setback to the Anil Ambani group company Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra), the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has ordered the company to fulfil its power purchase agreement for 260MW from Wardha Power Company, the KSK Energy Venture, from 1 May 2011.

Earlier this month, MERC rejected RInfra's application for extension of its existing power distribution licence to suburbs in Mumbai and asked it file a fresh bid for this. The company's licence expires on 15 August 2011. It has around 27 lakh consumers in the suburbs.

Now, MERC has asked RInfra to purchase 120MW round the clock and another 120MW for 12 hours of the day from 1st April to 30 April 2011 and the full quantum of 260 MW from 1 May 2011. KSK's Wardha power plant, located in the Warora Growth Centre in Maharashtra's Chandrapur district, began commercial power generation last year and its fourth unit is expected to be operational by end-April.

RInfra had entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with KSK to buy 260 MW at a levelised tariff of Rs4.85 per unit for three years, from April 2011 to March 2014. The agreement was signed in June last year, after a Case-1 bidding process. However, due to uncertainty over the renewal of the distribution licence, RInfra sought to terminate the PPA in December 2010 on the grounds that KSK had not entered into a fuel supply agreement (FSA).

After conducting a hearing, MERC rejected RInfra's claim and said that KSK had offered to make good any loss suffered by RInfra due to short supply of power, following the non-execution of the FSA. With regard to the risk of non-renewal of distribution licence, RInfra should have been aware of eventualities before entering into the PPA, and the PPA cannot be terminated on such grounds, MERC said.

MERC also said that it has the power to arrive at an alternative solution if the need arose.

KSK is awaiting start of supply of linkage coal from Western Coalfields', cost-plus block, for its Wardha Warora plant, and is currently purchasing e-auction coal to operate the plant.


HDFC Bank Q4 net jumps 33% to Rs1,114.70 crore

Net interest income during the quarter was Rs2,839.50 crore, driven by loan growth of 27.1% and a core net interest margin (NIM) for the quarter of 4.2%, the bank said

Mumbai: Private sector lender HDFC Bank today reported a 33.2% jump in net profit to Rs1,114.70 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 2011, driven by increase in loans.

The bank's total income rose by 24% to Rs6,724.30 crore in the January-March quarter of 2010-11 from Rs5,003.80 crore in the year-ago period, HDFC Bank said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Net interest income (interest earned less interest expended) during the quarter was Rs2,839.50 crore as against Rs2,351.40 crore in the same period a year ago.

This was driven by loan growth of 27.1% and a core net interest margin (NIM) for the quarter of 4.2%, the bank said.

The board of HDFC Bank has proposed a dividend of 165% or Rs16.50 per share for the year ended 31 March 2011.

Besides, the board has also recommended share split in 1:5 ratio. The board has approved sub-division of one equity share of face value Rs10 into five shares of Rs2 each and consequential alteration in the authorised share capital.

For the financial year 2010-11, the bank posted a net profit of Rs3,926.30 crore, representing an increase of 33.10% from Rs2,948.60 crore in the previous year.

The bank earned an income of Rs24,263.40 crore in FY10-11 compared to Rs20,155.83 crore in the previous fiscal.

Consolidated net profit increased by 32.9% to Rs 3,992.50 crore in 2010-2011.

The bank's total balance sheet size increased by 24.7% from Rs2,22,459 crore as of 31 March 2010 to Rs2,77,353 crore as of 31 March 2011. Recording a growth of 27.1% total gross advances were at Rs1,59,983 crore while total deposits grew by 24.1% at Rs2,08,586 crore.

The capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of the bank stood at 16.2% at the end of 2010-2011 as against 17.4% as of 31 March 2010.


SC issues notices to Sesa Goa, IFCI on Bellary Steel buyout

JSW Steel has challenged the orders of the Delhi High Court which had approved the Rs220 crore bid of the Vedanta Group company and directed IFCI to sell the debt-ridden Bellary Steel to Sesa Goa

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today issued notices to Sesa Goa and Industrial Financial Corporation of India (IFCI) on a plea by JSW Steel challenging the Delhi High Court's approval to the Vedanta Group company's Rs220 crore bid to buy out Bellary Steel and Alloys (BSAL), reports PTI.

A bench comprising Justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph issued notices to Sesa Goa and IFCI directing them to file their replies within three weeks. The apex court also directed the parties concerned to maintain status-quo as of today till the next date of hearing.

JSW Steel challenged the orders of the Delhi High Court which had approved the Rs220 crore bid of the Vedanta Group company and directed IFCI to sell the debt-ridden Bellary Steel to Sesa Goa.

Last month, Sesa Goa had said that it has acquired the assets of BSAL, put on the block by a consortium of lenders led by IFCI for Rs220 crore.

The assets of the acquired company have been transferred on "as is where is" basis to Sesa Goa effective 22nd March, the Vedanta Group firm had said in a statement.

BSAL, a Karnataka-based company promoted by S Madhav and S Parvathi, had embarked on a plan to set up an integrated 0.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) capacity steel plant with provision of taking it to 2 MTPA, at Bellary on 700 acres of freehold land.

However, BSAL could not complete the project and ran into debt, following which the lenders consortium led by IFCI put it on the block for sale.

The selloff process was eventful. Sesa Goa fought a legal battle against the process adopted by IFCI in December, in which JSW Steel was declared winner for its bid of Rs210 crore for acquiring the asset of BSAL.

However, Sesa Goa in its plea before the high court in January this year contended that IFCI initially announced the Vedanta Group firm as the only qualified bidder and declared the company winner verbally for its bid of Rs206 crore.

Following this, the Delhi High Court allowed the Sesa Goa to rebid in an inter se bidding process, where the Goa-based company put a successful bid of Rs220 crore.

Inter se bidding process means the shortlisted companies will have to rebid with their fresh offer.


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