Companies & Sectors
Won't go by Kingfisher’s “empty promises”: AAI

The Vijay Mallya-owned airline owes Rs290 crore to AAI towards landing and parking fees and the Authority insisted said that its dues must be cleared before Kingfisher is allowed to fly again


Mumbai: Spelling fresh trouble for beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines, state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) has said it will not go by the “empty promises” of the airline management and would insist on clearance of its dues before the carrier is allowed to fly again, reports PTI.

 

“We will not go by the empty promises of the Kingfisher Airlines management. We want our dues to be paid (before the airline is allowed to take off again),” a highly-placed AAI source told PTI.

 

The grounded airline owes Rs290 crore to AAI towards landing and parking fees.

 

The airline’s revival plan has already run into trouble with its engineers stating recently that they would file a winding-up petition against the company for non-payment of salaries for the last eight months while a section of its former pilots has already taken the company to the court on the same issue.

 

Stating that the state-run airport agency will not settle for anything “short of clearing of all dues,” the source said, “despite all their talks of resuming limited operations, no official from Kingfisher has approached us in this regard”.

 

“We have made our position clear on Kingfisher dues also to the aviation regulator DGCA, which has to approve the revival plan,” the source said.

 

Kingfisher, which has over Rs15,000 crore in the form of debt, accumulated losses and various dues, has remained grounded since 1st October and its flying licence expired on 31st December.

 

The airline’s chairman Vijay Mallya had said Kingfisher would be up and flying by the summer with a limited number of aircraft as part of its revival plan.

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RIL hits overseas debt markets again, launches over $500-million issue

For the fifth time this fiscal, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, which has a surplus cash of over Rs75,000 crore, is raising long-term debt citing historically low interest rates from the overseas markets

Mumbai: Reliance Industries (RIL), which is sitting on over Rs75,000 crore in surplus cash, on Monday launched an issue of bonds in Hong Kong and Singapore markets to raise a minimum $500 million (around Rs2,700 crore), reports PTI quoting company sources.

 

This is the fifth time that the Mukesh Ambani-led company is raising long-term debt this fiscal. So far, it has raised $4 billion from overseas in the current financial year.

 

“The company is planning to raise at least $500 million by issuing perpetual bonds. The issue hit the markets today and the final amount will depend on the investor appetite. The initial pricing is 6% over the US treasury,” an RIL official who did not wish to be named told PTI.

 

Perpetual bonds are those with no maturity date, therefore, it may be treated as equity, not as debt. Perpetual bonds pay coupons forever and the issuer does not have to redeem them. Their cash flows are, therefore, those of perpetuity.

 

However, he expressed hope that the final pricing will be much below the guidance because of the strong fundamentals of the company.

 

When asked why it is raising debt despite sitting on over Rs75,000 crore surplus cash, the official said, the interest rates are at historical lows and hence it’s a good time for Reliance to raise long-term money and that the long-term nature of the bond is in line with the long-term assets of the company.

 

He further said Bank of America, Citi, HSBC, Barclays Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and RBS are mandated for the issue.

 

The RIL official also said this first senior long-rated bond issuance by a domestic company.

 

The funds will be used to meet the capex requirements of the company that runs the world’s largest refinery at Jamnagar.

 

The senior unsecured perpetual notes have a ‘BBB’ rating from S&P, the rating said in a note.

 

“The proposed notes will rank equally with all the company's other present and future unsecured and unsubordinated obligations,” S&P said in a note from Singapore.

 

“The rating on Reliance reflects the company’s strong competitive position and good business diversity. In addition, RIL has low leverage, and strong cash flows and liquidity,” S&P said, adding the positive rating outlook reflects our view that the company has a large cash surplus to protect its financial strength against any potential deterioration in operating conditions.

 

This bond represents the first senior long dated/perpetual issuance by a domestic issuer after Tata Power’s recent hybrid, the RIL official said, adding only a only a select few Asian issuers have been able to access this market.

 

The transaction extends Reliance’s maturity profile and establishes Reliance’s credit curve in 10-year, 30-year and perpetual bonds, the official added.

 

Stating the final pricing will be really tight he said the recent issuances from MNCs like Prudential Plc had 5.25%, Telekom Austria at 5.875%, Banco Do Brasil's at 6.25% and Axa’s a 5.50% among others.

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Telcos to add 48.9 million subscribers in FY14: CMIE

According to CMIE, telecom user base in India is expected to increase in the next fiscal on the back of the rural thrust of operators

 

Mumbai: Despite a steep fall in the customer base over the past few months, telecom companies are likely to add 48.9 million new subscribers in FY2013-14 with their emphasis on deeper penetration in rural areas, reports PTI quoting a study by Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

 

The recent fall in subscriber base—nearly 36 million—is mainly due to the implementation of mobile number portability (MNP) and the clean-up exercise by service providers, said CMIE in its report.

 

The telecom user base is expected to increase in the next fiscal on the back of the rural thrust of the operators, it said.

 

“During 2013-14, service providers are expected to add 48.9 million new subscribers. Most of these would be from rural areas,” it said.

 

While the urban areas are “over-penetrated” with a tele-density of 159.5%, that in rural areas is just 40.6%.

 

“This indicates that these areas hold lot of opportunities for the operators to grow subscriber base,” it said.

 

However, in the current fiscal, it expects telcos to lose 35.9 million subscribers to 915.5 million. The fall would be partly because of the clean-up exercise by mobile service providers and also because of the exit of some who have lost licenses.

 

Since the implementation of MNP in January 2011, over 75 million subscribers have opted for transfer. Also, around 30 million users had their connections disconnected during July-October last year due to clean-up activity by service providers.

 

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