News Flashes

Max Healthcare plans Rs 95cr equity placement

18th March 2005: Max Healthcare, a subsidiary of Max India, is planning to raise Rs 95 crore through a second round of equity placement by December 2005. "We have one more round of equity (placement) to go, and hope to raise about Rs 95 crore by December," said Ananjit Singh, chairman of Max India. The company is in talks with prospective investors, he said without divulging details. He, however, denied any plans to take Max Healthcare public. The company had allotted 13.8% stake for Rs 25 crore to Warburg Pincus group arms - Madison Holding and Melany Holdings - in December 2004.

FCI plans Rs 4,000cr bond issue

17th March 2005: State-run grain procurement agency Food Corporation of India (FCI) plans to open a Rs 4000-crore bond issue on Monday, merchant bankers said.

Bharti to file for ADR soon

16th March 2005: Bharti Televentures, the country’s top listed mobile services firm, will file documents with the Securities Exchange Commission for a sponsored share offering in a few months, the firm's chairman said today. "We will be doing the SEC filing for the sponsored ADR (American Depository Receipt) in the next few months," said Sunil Mittal. Bharti has shareholder's permission for sponsoring an offer of up to 200 million shares.

Centre possibly will raise ceiling for ECBs

16th March 2005: The government is planning to raise the overall limit of external commercial borrowings (ECB) for the next financial year. According to sources close to the development, the internal limit for the current fiscal had been set at $9 billion by the Centre. The finance ministry is expected to raise this to $10-12 billion for 2005-06 as ECB inflows in the current fiscal have already crossed $9 billion. The issue is likely to be taken up at the high-level co-ordination committee meeting on ECBs later this month.

Sources said there is a move to take foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) out of the purview of the ECB. This is because the ministry feels that FCCBs are not debt per se, rather it is quasi equity by nature. There is a proposal to club it under the foreign direct investment category and also set separate limits for FCCB borrowings under both, the automatic and the approval routes. The eligibility criterion for companies to raise funds through FCCBs may also be reviewed. The finance ministry is believed to be in favour of allowing housing finance and leasing companies to tap ECBs.

The ministry is of the opinion that financing options for leasing companies has dried up and they should be allowed to look overseas. The RBI is apparently not inclined to the move. There is also a proposal to allow textile companies to tap the ECB market to enable them expand and take advantage of the opportunities in the post-quota regime. At present, textile companies are only allowed to borrow through the ECB route for refinancing their high-cost domestic debt. Companies engaged exclusively in infrastructure funding may also be allowed to raise ECBs. This is in line with the added impetus accorded to the infrastructure sector by the government in the Budget, sources said.

Crew BOS Products to raise $10 mn via FCCBs

16th March 2005: The board of leather and accessory maker Crew BOS Products has approved a proposal to raise up to $10 million through the issue of foreign shares or foreign convertible bonds or private placement, the BSE said on Wednesday.

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