We’re ser­vic­ing our debt, trim­ming ar­rears: Anil Ambani

Says Re­liance Group com­pany stocks are vic­tims of ‘ru­mours, bear ham­mer­ing’

The Hindu Business Line - - FRONT PAGE - VENKATESH GANESH

Re­liance Group Chair­man Anil Ambani on Tues­day em­phat­i­cally said the group is ser­vic­ing its debt pay­ments and will con­tinue to re­duce its ar­rears.

In a hur­riedly or­gan­ised con­fer­ence call, Ambani said “un­war­ranted” ru­mours and “bear ham­mer­ing” have dam­aged the value of the group’s stocks.

These ob­ser­va­tions come in the back­drop of rat­ings agen­cies such as CARE and Brick­work Rat­ings down­grad­ing al­most all the com­pa­nies of the group.

In­dus­try watch­ers es­ti­mate that the over­all debt po­si­tion of Re­liance Group com­pa­nies — in­clud­ing Re­liance Com­mu­ni­caitons — is around ₹1 lakh-crore.

Re­as­sur­ing in­vestors, Ambani said the group has serviced debt pay­ments of over ₹35,000 crore in the last 14 months. This in­cluded prin­ci­pal pay­ments of ₹25,000 crore and in­ter­est pay­ments of ₹11,000 crore.

He added that dur­ing the 14month pe­riod, lenders from all cat­e­gories, such as banks, mu­tual funds, in­sur­ance com­pa­nies, Prov­i­dent Fund and NBFCs, have not pro­vided any ad­di­tional liq­uid­ity to any of the group’s en­ti­ties. “These pay­ments have been made in the face of in­sur­mount­able odds and the most chal­leng­ing fi­nan­cial en­vi­ron­ment in the coun­try in decades,” he said.

Ambani was also par­tic­u­larly irate that the reg­u­la­tory bod­ies and courts have not passed any fi­nal ad­ju­di­ca­tion or­der on claims ag­gre­gat­ing over ₹30,000 crore that are due for 5-10 years to var­i­ous Re­liance Group com­pa­nies, es­pe­cially Re­liance In­fra­struc­ture, Re­liance Power and their af­fil­i­ates.

‘Ap­a­thy, lack of sup­port’

He also blamed the fi­nan­cial sys­tem, which he said has shown to­tal ap­a­thy and lack of any sup­port, sig­nif­i­cantly hurt­ing the in­ter­ests of lenders as well as all other stake­hold­ers. “De­spite the lack of sup­port, the group is com­mit­ted to pay­ing off all of its debts,” he said.

These de­vel­op­ments come at a time when the group’s non-fi­nance busi­nesses are see­ing tough times. Re­liance Power has posted its big­gest ever quar­terly loss in the Jan­uary to March quar­ter and Re­liance In­fra­struc­ture has de­ferred its quar­terly re­sults for the sec­ond time. CARE said Re­liance Cap­i­tal has ‘size­able exposure to group com­pa­nies’ in the non-fi­nan­cial busi­ness seg­ments. Fur­ther, these firms have weak fi­nan­cial pro­files and re­quire con­tin­ued sup­port from Re­liance Cap­i­tal, the re­port said.

Re­liance Cap­i­tal is in the process of mon­etis­ing its en­tire 42.88 per cent stake in Re­liance Nip­pon Life As­set Man­age­ment.

It has also an­nounced plans to mon­e­tise a 49 per cent stake in Re­liance Gen­eral In­sur­ance. “I’m per­son­ally con­fi­dent that the jour­ney we have un­der­taken to be cap­i­tal light, bare min­i­mal debt and high Re­turn on Eq­uity will en­hance all share­hold­ers,” said Ambani.

ZY ANIL AMBANI Re­liance Group Chair­man YZ

“These pay­ments have been made in the face of in­sur­mount­able odds and the most chal­leng­ing fi­nan­cial en­vi­ron­ment in the coun­try in decades.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.