News Flashes

Icra assigns 'LAAA' to Power Grid Corporation (PGCIL) bond

20th May 2005: Credit rating agency Icra today reaffirmed the highest safety rating 'LAAA' to the Rs 5,500 crore long-term bonds of state-run transmission monolith Power Grid Corporation. Icra also reaffirmed the 'A1+' rating to the Rs 550 crore short-term debt and Rs 50 crore Commercial Papers of PGCIL, it said in a release. The ratings considered PGCIL's strategic role in the power sector, being responsible for developing inter-state transmission network and national grid management. It took into account the low level of operating risks in its core operations, a cost plus transmission tariff structure and superior operating efficiency, the agency said. The rating also factored the new tariff norms for 2004-09, PGCIL's sovereign ownership and the support from the government of India, Icra said.

Electrosteel Castings Ltd. to raise $50mn via GDRs

20th May 2005: Electrosteel Castings Limited, manufacturer of ductile iron pipes, would raise GDRs to meet capital expenditure plans and part repayment of its existing loans. A company official said that the board would meet on June 3 to approve the GDR issue, adding that the company plans to raise $ 50 million from this route. The GDRs would be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. The company plans to expand the Khardah facility in West Bengal for which Rs 100 crore was required including working capital. The entire process was likely to be completed by middle of August.

Bharti Tele-Ventures drops ADR plans

20th May 2005: Bharti Tele-Ventures has dropped plans to issue American Depositary Receipts against existing shares due to lack of interest from key shareholders, it told the National Stock Exchange today. Bharti earlier had plans for an issue of up to 200 million shares under this route, it said.

Uttam Galva plans $60-mn FCCB or GDR issue

20th May 2005: Uttam Galva Steels Ltd said today that it will raise $60 million from overseas through issue of Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds or Global Depository Receipts. The Board of directors have approved the offer, issue and allotment of either FCCBs, GDRs, securities representing either equity shares or other offerings of up to an aggregate amount of $60 million, subject to the approval of the shareholders, the company informed the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Motorola plans first ever stock buyback

19th May 2005: Motorola Inc. said on Wednesday its board had authorized its first ever stock buyback program, allowing it to repurchase up to $4 billion worth of its shares in the next three years. Motorola, the world's second biggest mobile phone maker, said that, based on current share prices, this represents about 10 per cent of its total market capitalization. Motorola had 2.45 billion shares outstanding as of April 2, cash and equivalents of $11.3 billion and net cash of about $6 billion. The company's chief financial officer, David Devonshire, said last week that Motorola was considering stock buybacks. Its shares rose slightly to $17.19 in late trading on Inet after closing at $16.90 in regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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