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Web Exclusive | January 2013

Steel firms seek alternate funding sources

According to some reports, India's steel production capacity may rise to 200 million tonne per annum (mn tpa) by 2020 from the current level of around 90 mn tpa and this would require an investment of $110 billion in the next six-seven years.

According to the working group on steel industry for the 12th Five Year Plan, the sector may need an investment of Rs 2.5 lakh crore up to 2017 for adding 60 mn tpa capacity. The group raised concerns about the means of funding in the sector.

Industry players feel that there is no specific bank or institution for steel sector and almost every bank has reached the maximum exposure limit for the sector.

In order to meet this investment requirement, domestic steel firms planned to approach financial institutions in Singapore. The Indian delegation, which includes Union Steel Secretary DRS Chaudhary and comprising representatives of both public and private sector firms would meet officials from Singapore's leading bankers, FIIs, Mutual Funds and private equity firms.

The Indian team would also meet senior representatives of Temasek and GIC on the last day of their tour, reports suggest.

Specifically, the delegation would include representatives from Tata Steel, JSW Steel, Jindal Steel and Power, SAIL, Essar Steel, among others.

SAIL Chairman CS Verma had earlier said India needs to put in place a funding agency only for the steel sector, on the lines of Power Finance Corporation(PFC).

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