Viceroy Hotels to hive off Chennai project division

A meeting of the Board of Directors of Viceroy Hotels will be held on 26th March to consider hiving off the Chennai Project Division

Viceroy Hotels Ltd (VHL) said that it is looking to hive off its Rs560 crore Chennai project into a separate company to cut debt on its balance sheet.
"Hiving off of the Chennai project division will help reduce debt from the books of VHL. The company is building a luxury hotel property in Chennai, which has a total debt of around Rs450 crore," VHL company secretary P Lenin Babu said.

A meeting of the Board of Directors of the company will be held on 26th March to consider hiving off the Chennai Project Division, VHL said in a filing on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Mr Babu said the Chennai property will have a total of 387 rooms. It started construction in 2005 at an initial cost of Rs490 crore, which was later revised to Rs560 crore. Due to lack of funds the project got delayed in between and is likely to be operational in the next two to three years.

He said reduction in the debt of the parent company will enable VHL to raise fresh funds. The company's shareholders have recently approved hiving-off of the 'Bangalore Project Division' for a consideration of Rs205 crore.

"The project in Bangalore will take another one and a half years to get operational," Mr Babu added.

VHL currently operates two hotel properties in Hyderabad under the Marriott and Courtyard brand names.

On Tuesday, VHL ended 2.07% up at Rs34.55 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.84% to 17,988.30.

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PSL subsidiary receives Saudi Arabian order worth $80 Million

PSL Ltd subsidiary based in Sharjah has won a contract worth $80 million from Saline Water Conversion Corporation

The Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has awarded a contract for supply of bare line pipe to PSL FZE, Hamriyah (the Sharjah-based subsidiary of PSL Ltd, India) for approximately worth $80 million.  

The project comprises construction of a water transmission system from Ras Azour in the eastern province to Hafr Al-Baten in the central system, constituting API 5L Grade X-65, 44-inch diameter pipes for a total length exceeding 350km.

Ashok Punj, managing director, PSL, confirmed that with this order from SWCC, the installed capacity of the pipe mill at PSL FZE, Hamriyah, shall be fully utilised from April 2011 to May 2012. Resources at PSL FZE, Hamriyah, are further being added to establish another pipemill of capacity 75,000MT/year (aggregating to total capacity of 150,000MT/year), and the installation of second mill is in advanced stages of completion.

Another offer of approximate value $200 million for a water transmission pipeline project, for supply of over 600km of pipe as submitted by PSL Ltd, India, and PSL FZE, Hamriyah, as consortium partners, is also under active evaluation, added Ashok Punj.

Each pipe for this particular application shall be 18m in length, and such piping applications have a very large market potential within the rapidly developing water sector within the Middle East. PSL FZE commenced operations from its Sharjah-based facility in mid-2007, with a capacity of 75,000MT/year.  

On Tuesday, PSL ended 4.66% up at Rs72.95 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.84% to 17,988.30.

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Maruti mulls options to counter yen impact

Maruti Suzuki India will consider taking different measures after April to protect its margins due to fluctuation of Japanese yen, post the devastating earthquake and tsunami

The country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said it will consider taking different measures after April to protect its margins due to fluctuation of Japanese yen, post the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

"For this month, we are completely protected. In fact, we are covered till April. Beyond that if yen continues to appreciate, then we will have to take a call to counter it," MSI chief financial officer Ajay Seth said. He said the company's margins are affected whenever the yen appreciates, while it is beneficial if it depreciates.

After the natural disaster that struck the island nation on 11th March, the Japanese currency is quoted at about 81 yen against a US dollar compared to that of about 83 yen earlier, Mr Seth added. He said there is strong volatility going on at present, with yen appreciating as much as to 76 yen against a dollar recently.

While Mr Seth did not elaborate on how MSI would counter the yen fluctuation, market analysts pointed out that currency hedging is a strong possibility.
"Usually, Maruti hedges yen against the euro instead of rupee to mitigate the impact," an analyst with a leading brokerage firm, who asked not to be identified, said.

On the component sourcing from Japan, Mr Seth said: "Of our total raw material procurement, about 25% are imported."
Out of those imported parts, about 80% are purchased in yen, he added.

During the October-December period last year, MSI spent Rs6,959.03 crore in consumption of raw materials and components. It also paid Rs460 crore as royalty in the quarter to its parent company Suzuki, which is about 5.5% of MSI's total sales.

When asked about the impact of Japan's natural disaster on MSI's production, Mr Seth said it will be unaffected for some time till next month as the company has enough inventory of components.

"Besides the stock at the plants, we will be getting some supplies, which will reach to us from Japan that started sailing just before the earthquake," he added.

Last week, the company had said it was assessing the possible impact of the natural calamity on its components import from Japan. Earlier, MSI had cancelled the celebrations for rolling out its 10 millionth car in view of the catastrophe.

On Tuesday, MSI ended 3.58% up at Rs1,171.85 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.84% to 17,988.30.

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