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SAIL declines govt call for dividend, says does not have cash, bank balance

SAIL's refusal could make it harder for the government to meet its budgeted target of raising Rs 1.06 trillion from the dividends

Reuters  |  New Delhi 

Photo: Reuters

State-owned Ltd (SAIL) has declined a government call for a for the last financial year, saying it did not have "any cash and bank balance" and that its debt-to-income ratio was much higher than agreed with some lenders, showed an internal document reviewed by Reuters.

Shares of the company, which has a market value of around $4.7 billion, were down more than 2 percent after the in a wider market that was largely flat.

SAIL's refusal could make it harder for the government to meet its budgeted target of raising Rs 1.06 trillion ($14.95 billion) from the dividends and profit of state-owned this fiscal year ending March. Last fiscal year, the government received Rs 1.23 billion, 13 percent below the then target.

India's second-biggest steel firm by current production said it had been due to pay out Rs 21.71 billion including tax to the government based on its "net-worth" last fiscal year.

"does not have any cash and bank balance and would need to borrow from the market for payment of dividend," said in an explanation sent to the government expressing its inability to pay the

"It is getting increasingly difficult to borrow further from the market in the current market conditions, especially for the steel sector, as the financial institutions and banks are reluctant to take further exposure on "

A spokesman told Reuters that the firm posted a loss in the 2017/18 fiscal year "so there is no chance of a dividend".

The did not respond to a request for comment.

The document also showed SAIL's net debt-to-earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) ratio was 8.5, against the 1.5 to 3.75 "the company in financial covenants agreed to with some of the foreign lenders".


The firm has Rs 32.2 billion debt due for repayment this fiscal year, which will have to be "met from borrowed funds".

"In the last three quarters, the company has been in profit and production is also ramping up although the loans do exist. But this year, the company will end up showing net profit in toto," the spokesman said.

said he hoped SAIL would be able to improve its performance in the coming months.

"If we see SAIL increasing its pace of production, the turnaround may happen within six months to one year," Singh told Reuters. "The company is right now on course-correction mode."

SAIL's stock, which has fallen more than 13 percent this year, was trading at Rs 79.60 on Friday afternoon.

($1 = 70.9150 Indian rupees)



First Published: Sat, September 01 2018. 00:21 IST