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How Ruias are reinventing the Essar Group

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For the last three years, the Mumbai headquartered Essar Group, founded by Shashi and Ravi Ruia, has deliberately kept a low profile. They were busy putting into action their deleveraging and monetisation strategy to free the group of all its debt and start on a clean state.

And they managed to do just that by monetising assets worth $25 bn by selling Essar Oil, Essar Steel, Essar Power and Essar Ports. Perhaps, for the first time in the country such huge debts have been paid off by a business house.

Leading from the front is the 54-year old Prashant Ruia, director, Essar Capital. He is working at a feverish pace to take the group to the next level. Between June 2022 and March 2023 the group made several big announcements. The group, it seems, is now approaching all its businesses with the mindset of a PE player.

According to sources, “The group has paid off 100% debt. Basically, the group has put in place the strategy of deleveraging and monetisation of assets, consolidation of operating companies, and getting into a new growth cycle.” And that is paying rich dividends.

Now with all debts paid, the mood at the Essar House is upbeat. The group has chalked up ambitious plans to be in the same areas where they have domain expertise. It will be Energy, Infrastructure & Logistics, Metals & Mining, and Technology & Retail.

To go with it, the group has identified three themes: Decarbonisation, Decentralisation and Digitisation. For instance, decarbonisation means the group wants to move away from fossil fuel to green fuel. To make this happen, Essar Oil UK, a 10 MTPA refinery acquired in 2011 which serves 16% of UK’s road fuel demand has entered into an agreement with Vertex Hydrogen. Vertex is part of Essar Energy Transition which is planning an investment of $3.6 bn in India ($1.2 bn) and the UK ($2.4 bn) to develop a range of low carbon energy transition projects which would include blue and green hydrogen, biofuels, battery storage, solar PV etc.

The investment in the UK will play a key role in supporting their government’s decarbonisation strategy.

Essar 2.0 sees the group focusing on transitioning existing assets to green businesses, while investing in creating new-age ESG-centric sustainable businesses.

Besides oil refineries and storage terminals in the UK, it has exploration and production facilities in Vietnam; Iron ore plant in USA, coal mine in Indonesia. It has entered into an agreement with Saudi Arabia to set up a 4 MTPA greenfield steel plant in Ras Al-Khair. In India, it has plans to set up 14 MTPA iron ore pellet plants close to Paradip port, Odisha and triple its CBM productions in West Bengal.

Essar Group which currently has a turnover of $15 bn and $1 bn profit will see most of its new initiatives becoming operational by December 2025 or early 2026. Looks like the second innings of the Ruias will be better than the first.

Business

GT Mall Which Denied Entry To A Man Wearing Dhoti, Now Sealed For Defaulting On Rs 3.56 Crore Property Tax

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GT Mall Which Denied Entry To A Man Wearing Dhoti, Now Sealed For Defaulting On Rs 3.56 Crore Property Tax

The G.T. World Mall was closed on Thursday by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) due to outstanding property tax payments totaling Rs 3.56 crore. The mall has been in the spotlight since a elderly farmer was denied entry for wearing a dhoti on Tuesday evening.

The mall received a notice from the civic organization Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) directing them to settle the outstanding balance by July 31. Additionally, the city officials issued a warning, stating that if the payment is not received by the deadline, the mall will close even more.

Additionally, the mall’s trade license has been suspended.

A notice on the mall’s entrance stated, “Your trade license is suspended and your property is sealed for non-payment of arrears property tax, as per Section 156 of the BBMP Act 2020, read with a circular dated 06-12-2023.”

Nevertheless, the GT Mall management asserted that, in contrast to the Rs 3.56 crore indicated in the BBMP notice, two years’ worth of property tax, or Rs 1.78 crore, is due. The BBMP also asked mall management to explain why they wouldn’t let the elderly farmer in a dhoti enter the mall.

Dhoti incident at ‘GT Mall’

A video of an old man and his son pleading with GT Mall employees to let them into the shopping center surfaced on July 17. Even though they had reservations for a movie, they were reportedly refused entry because they were wearing dhotis.

Social media users have taken to criticizing and debating the viral video, with many demanding that the management of GT Mall be held accountable for their “disrespect” for the elderly man. On the matter, BJP opposition leaders criticized the Siddaramaiah administration.

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Business

Bank Of Maharashtra Q1 Earnings: Total Business Rises To ₹4,700,000,000,000

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The Bank of Maharashtra’s Q1 earnings were reported on the exchange on July 15.

The bank reported their revenue at Rs 6768.76 crore in Q1 FY25, a 24.9 per cent jump from same quarter previous year, which was reported at Rs 5,417.87 crore. The net profit stood at Rs 1,293.68 in Q1 FY25, which saw a 46.5 per cent jump quarter-on-quarter. The same quarter of the previous year saw a net profit of Rs 882,49 crore.

Between Q1FY24 and Q1FY25, the bank’s total business increased by 13.43 per cent YoY to Rs 4.76 trillion. However, compared to the same quarter previous year, the bank’s total deposits increased by 9.43 per cent YoY to Rs 2.67 trillion.

Gross and net NPA

Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) decreased marginally during the quarter, from 1.88 percent to 1.85 percent, demonstrating the resilience of asset quality (QoQ). At Rs 3,873 crore, gross non-performing assets (NPAs) were as of the last quarter, down from Rs 3,833 crore.

The bank’s meager 0.20 percent net non-performing assets (NPAs) did not alter. Net non-performing assets (NPAs) came in at Rs 415 crore, which is the same as the Rs 409 crore collected in the previous quarter.

Net NPAs for the bank held steady at a pitiful 0.20 percent. Net NPAs were reported at Rs 415 crore, which is the same as the Rs 409 crore figure from the previous quarter.

Net interest margin

The bank recorded net interest income (NII) of Rs 2,799 crore for Q1 FY25, up 20 per cent YoY from Rs 2,340 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Share performance

The Bank of maharashtra’s share was trading around Rs 68.95 per share on Indian bourses, 5.95 per cent jump from the opening of The counter which opened at Rs 65.94 per share today.

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Business

Gold Price Jumps ₹400 To ₹75,050 Per 10 Grams On Jewellers’ Buying

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Gold price on Wednesday jumped by Rs 400 to Rs 75,050 per 10 grams in the national capital on the back of fresh buying from jewellers, according to the All India Sarafa Association.

The precious metal had closed at Rs 74,650 per 10 grams in the previous session.

However, silver prices remained flat at Rs 94,400 per kg.

In sarafa markets, the yellow metal was trading at Rs 75,050 per 10 grams, up by Rs 400 against the previous close, the association said.

Traders said gold prices saw an uptrend due to rise in domestic demand.

In the international markets, spot gold was trading higher at USD 2,380.50 per ounce, up USD 12.60 per ounce.

“Gold prices traded positively. The buying was driven by expectations of weak inflation numbers to be release on Thursday evening in US, which could prompt rate cuts by US Federal Reserve in the September meeting,” Jateen Trivedi, VP Research Analyst, Commodity and Currency at LKP Securities, said.

Additionally, silver prices was also up at USD 31.25 per ounce globally.

“Spot gold closed with a gain of around 0.20 per cent at USD 2,363 per ounce on Tuesday, as the Fed Chair Powell, in his testimony to the US Senate Banking Committee, offered largely a balanced view on the US economy and the Fed’s monetary policy,” Praveen Singh, Associate VP, Fundamental Currencies and Commodities at Sharekhan by BNP Paribas, said.

In his testimony, Fed Chair Powell said that the inflation trend is encouraging; however, the US central bank will need more data to gain confidence in cutting rates.

He (Powell) cautioned that lowering interest rates too little or too late could put the economy and the labour market at risk as inflation is not the only risk the US economy faces now.

“The US Consumer Price Index (June) data will be released on Thursday, which is crucial as traders look for possibility of rate cuts in September,” Singh added.

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