Week ending March 03, 2002



SCI board to have 4 more independent directors Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), has decided to increase the strength of its board of directors from 12 to 16 by inducting four independent directors. The move to expand the board is based on the requirement of Section 49 (a) of the Companies Act, 1956, which clearly states that about half the directors on a listed com­pany's board should be indepen­dent directors. At present, the board comprises of 12 directors, six from the Corporation, two government nominees and four are independent directors. The company is seeking shareholders' approval for expansion of the board at an extraordinary general meeting scheduled on March 21 2002.

GE Shipping raises Rs 75 crore through preference shares Great Eastern Shipping has raised Rs. 75 crore through a preference share issue, privately placed with Unit Trust of India (UTI), HDFC Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. Of the total issue, the Unit Trust of India (UTI) has subscribed Rs 30 crore, while Standard Chartered Bank and HDFC Bank has subscribed to Rs 20 crore of shares each. These shares have tenure of four years and carry a dividend of 10.5 per cent. The issue has a 'call' option at the end of three years. The company is believed to be currently working on a long-term plan of restructuring the company's balance sheet by reducing its equity capital and creating a mezzanine capital by way of preferential issue of shares. The shareholders of GE Shipping had cleared the resolution for issue of preference shares of Rs 10 each at its extraordinary general meeting held in December last year.

Shanghai to build $ 12 billion mega deepwater port A new $ 12 billion deep-water port is being developed at a small offshore island location, which is expected make Shanghai a pre-eminent hub port in the region. In the first phase, construction of a 32-kilometer six to eight-lane bridge to the island location will commence by end of March 2002. The plan for the mega port would involve construction of 50 container berths connected to the mainland by the bridge. The first phase of the project, including construction of the bridge and five terminal berths is estimated to cost $ 1.6 billion. The mega project has aroused the interest among the world’s shipping and container companies, looking for share in the project pie. However, Chinese authorities are not too keen on foreign financial participation in the first phase of the project. Meanwhile, the Shanghai port over the last two years has risen from the world’s 10th biggest container port in 1998 to fifth largest position in 2001, overtaking Rotterdam port. The new mega port project, when implemented will catapult Shanghai to the position of third largest port in the world, next perhaps only to Singapore and Hong Kong.

Goa Shipyard launches indigenously designed patrol vessel The Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) has recently launched an indigenously designed coastguard patrol vessel, with a speed of 35 knot. The 48-meter long vessel with a displacement of 260-T designed for conducting anti-smuggling, anti-terrorist operations, fisheries protection, searches and rescue mission has a minimum endurance of 1,500 nautical miles. The patrol vessel can also support Navy during wartime as a coastal convoy escort and a communication link. The vessel is the fastest in its category and completely designed and manufactured by Goa Shipyard. The vessel is fitted with 30 mm gun forward, machine guns on port, starboard and state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment. The high-speed vessel is powered by three 2720 KW MTU diesel engines driving independent Kamewa water jets. Fully air conditioned accommodation is provided for 35 men on board. GSL has also commissioned a new slipway at its Yard and can now take up major repair jobs of ships in the dry dock area.


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