Week ending April 02, 2002


News on Ports

GPPIL to plans NYSE listing Gujarat Positra Port Infrastructure Limited (GPPIL) has reportedly finalized plans for listing its $ 800 million convertible foreign currency bond (FCCB) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for setting up a special economic zone at Positra. The proposed FCCB issue the largest global offering by an Indian company and is likely to be floated sometime in September-October, though exact date for the issue has not been yet decided. The promoters of the company are currently talking to the financial institutions and leading banks to arrange a guarantee for the overseas bond issue. The GPPIL for overseas listing follows the government’s decision allowing SEZs to raise foreign currency loan. The proposed issue of $ 800 million will cover almost 60 per cent of the Rs.5,700 crore total project cost of the Gujarat Positra’s SEZ.

P&O to re-bid for the Vallarpadam box terminal project P&O Ports will be allowed to re-bid for the Vallarpadam Container Terminal project, when the government re-issues the international tender for the developing the project. While government was earlier reported to be contemplating excluding the P&O Ports from re-bidding for the project, it has now reportedly decided to allow the P&O Ports to participate in the re-tendering process, as could otherwise dilute the competition in the re-tendering process. In the last round of tendering, the P&O Ports was the lone bidder for the project, while all other port developers chose to stay away. The Shipping Ministry has now identified global port developers like CSX Corporation, Hutchinson International Port Holdings, PSA Corporation, West Port, Dubai Ports Authority, Maersk, CMA-CGM and one of the private operators managing the Hamburg port among the likely bidders for the Vallarpadam project.

IMO study warns of ecological hazards of ballast water A recent research study undertaken by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and UNDP has warned that discharge of ballast water by ships at various ports all over the world, including at major Indian ports has poses ecological hazards. The study, taken up by the Global Ballast Water Management Programme in India has indicated that wide range of aquatic organisms transferred to seawater from ballast water was posing a serious threat to the existence of precious coral reefs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The study says that apart from carrying goods the ships were also promoting transferring different types of bacteria, microbes and other forms of microscopic marine life from one part of the world to another. India is one of the countries selected under GloBallast project, with Mumbai as the pilot site for undertaking the study.

China to help Pakistan build deep sea port at Gwadar China is helping Pakistan build a new deep sea port on its Southern coast. The project considered to be a prestigious one for Pakistan is expected to help Pakistan’s trade and economic relations with the oil-rich Central Asian Republics, via Afghanistan and is estimated to cost Rs.10 billion in Pakistani currency. China is helping in the technical task of doing the survey and subsequently designing the port project. The first phase of the construction to be completed by 2005 involves the dredging and construction of three berths. The second phase is planned to add 18 more berths, including oil, chemical and container terminals. Of the total project cost of $ 248 million, Pakistan is funding $ 50 million and while the rest of project funds are to be raised by Chinese grant and commercial loan for phase 1 of the project.

CIDCO plans to float SPV for Navi Mumbai SEZ The City & Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), promoters of the Rs.5, 800 crore Navi Mumbai special economic zone project is planning to float a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to attract foreign investors who would own, build and operate SEZ. CIDCO is looking out for a strategic partner for infrastructure planning and development, who can bring in $150 million in equity and $750 in project financing. CIDCO is offering 51 per cent equity stake to foreign investors in the project, which it is willing to raise up to 74 per cent, provided the foreign partner has the ability to market the project at a global level. CIDCO will mainly provide for the land and the foreign partner will develop the required infrastructure for SEZ.

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News on Shipping

SCI to restructure its debt portfolio The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has decided to restructure some of its debts and has decided to repay an outstanding loan of Rs.255 crore taken from the Union Government. The company plans to retire the government loan by availing a five–year loan for Rs.200 crore from Bank of Baroda (BoB) at an interest rate of 8.75 per cent, lower than the prime lending rate (PLR), while the remaining Rs.55 crore will be repaid through internal resources. By returning the loan, the company would be able to get 40 of its vessels released from the mortgage of the government. The company is reportedly also talking to State Bank of India for re-financing a residual loan amount of Rs.102 crore. The company had borrowed Rs.128 crore from SBI at a rate of 13.37 per cent in 1999 to repay a costly loan of Rs. 128 crore taken from the Mumbai Port Trust in 1998.

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