The steel plant of Ispat Industries at Dolvi, Maharashtra has been closed for over a month due to a cash crunch. But the company has not bothered to inform the stock exchanges
Ispat Industries, which has been subjected to a massive countrywide raid by the revenue intelligence wing of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in the past 24 hours, is in an acute cash crunch. The cash crunch has forced the closure of the company's electric arc furnace in Dolvi, Maharashtra, which has a capacity to make 3.3 million tonnes of steel and also the cold rolling and galvanizing mill at Kalmeshwar, near Nagpur.
Amazingly, the mill has remained closed from 3rd November but the bourses have not been informed. Moneylife contacted the company, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to find out whether the exchange and the regulator had been informed of this material change but received no reply till the time of writing.
Yesterday, The Economic Times reported that Ispat is up for sale and will possibly be bought by Arcelor Mittal. Based on the report, the Ispat Industries stock gained 12% yesterday and another 4% today to close at Rs18.65 on the BSE. The media has been writing about a possible change of control in Ispat regularly. Each of these reports has turned out to be untrue. The stock, however, jumps sharply on such reports, which possibly helps some well-placed speculators.
Ispat has been making continuous losses for the past many years and in the September quarter again it reported a massive loss. The company lost Rs332 crore compared to a loss of Rs79.4 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.
While Ispat has been perpetually starved for cash, in November news reports quoted Vinod Garg, executive director, commercial, as saying that the company will raise steel production capacity to 4.2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) from 3.3 MTPA.
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