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Wednesday 6 March 2013

Dr Vijay Mallya may use his wealth to save Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.

He owns one of the world's most expensive yachts, a Formula One team and one of India's biggest premier league cricket teams. The net worth of liquor baron Vijay Mallya and his family has almost doubled to more than Rs 8,000 crore since UK drinks giant Diageo Plc picked up a controlling stake in United Spirits Ltd last November.

But the man dubbed the "King of Good Times" is still having a hard time bailing out his grounded Kingfisher Airlines. 

Business Today's research shows the net worth of Mallya and his family has leapt by Rs 3,500 crore in the past year to Rs 8,296 crore, while the Kingfisher Airlines stock has plunged to about Rs 11 from Rs 30 last year, wiping out almost two-thirds of investor wealth. 

The stock of the UB Group's flagship company, United Spirits Ltd, has jumped to about Rs 1,800 from Rs 685 in February last year, pushing up the value of shares held by Mallya, his family and his investment arms by Rs 2,200 crore. The share price of another UB company, United Breweries, has also risen above Rs 680 from about Rs 410 in February last year.

This increased the value of shares held by Mallya, his family and his investment firms by Rs 1,400 crore.

Dr Mallya has been talking to investors for months to sell a stake in the debt-ridden Kingfisher and raise funds to revive the Airline which has not flown since October. But so far, he has made little headway, and the airline is nowhere close to taking off again any time soon.

Kingfisher is saddled with a debt of more than Rs 13,000 crore and lenders are now moving to recover their loans. The core group of a consortium of 17 banks led by State Bank of India (SBI) has decided to recall loans worth over Rs 7,000 crore because the airline's promoters have so far not infused fresh funds.

The loan recall is a demand for immediate repayment or else the lenders can take control of any Kingfisher assets they hold as collateral.

We will quickly proceed on the recovery process," says SBI Deputy Managing Director Shyamal Acharya.

Kingfisher has pledged several assets as collateral against the loans. They include the Kingfisher brand, prime properties in Mumbai and Goa, and shares of UB Group companies United Spirits and Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilizers. National Stock Exchange filings show 90 per cent of the promoter's 36 per cent holding were pledged as of December-end.

But experts say bankers and creditors such as airports and oil companies may have a tough time recovering even part of their dues. The banks have written off the airline brand which audit and consultancy firm Grant Thornton valued at Rs 3,000 crore in 2010 because they think it has little value under the circumstances.

Grant Thorton's valuation was based on the assumption that the airline would turn around with an infusion of funds. "Banks recall loans if a business ceases to be a going concern and stops operations altogether," says former Federal Bank Chairman M. Venugopalan.

The lenders have threatened to sell the shares of United Spirits and Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilizers put up as collateral. But one banker says selling the shares in the open market is not a practical solution as it would drive down the stock price.

Acharya says the consortium owns shares worth about Rs 500 crore in the two companies. UB Group officials are talking to banks about transferring the shares to Diageo through off-market transactions.

"The banks explicitly support the transaction with Diageo and will work with us in finding an orderly method of disposal of some of the pledged shares to Diageo if appropriate," says a UB spokesperson. Last month, the management paid a month's salary to some employees, but that may not be enough. The Airports Authority of India has taken steps to recover its dues from the troubled carrier. It has seized control of some planes parked at its airports and refused to allow lessors to retrieve them until the carrier pays airport dues of Rs 390 crore. "The banks and the government have done all they could, but there are no positive signs visible from the Kingfisher management to restart the airline," says Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal.

Last month, the main stakeholder in Kingfisher, United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd, sought shareholder approval to more than double its loan limit to the airline to Rs 750 crore and slash investments to Rs 750 crore from Rs 1,200 crore. While markets gave the thumbs-up to the proposal, analysts say the move suggests the promoters prefer supporting the airline with debt rather than equity because they have little faith in its profitability. "If and when the airline goes under, UB (Holdings) too will cave in under the weight of the airline debt," says Kishore Ostwal, head of CNI Research in Mumbai.

Some media reports said Dr Mallya may refer the ailing Airline to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR), the government agency charged with turning around sick companies. Kingfisher is saddled with accumulated losses of about Rs 10,000 crore. But BIFR officials say the board does not consider non-industrial companies for rehabilitation. Either way, Kingfisher's turbulent patch is far from over.

Kingfisher Airlines's Chairman Dr Vijay Mallya To meet FM
Mr P Chidambaram soon

Dr Vijay Mallya is coming to meet the Finance Minister

Dr Vijay Mallya is coming to meet the Finance Minister tomorrow," sources told PTI.

Mallya had met Law Minister Ashwani Kumar last month to discuss ways to deal with the problems facing his airline.

The scheduled meeting with Chidambaram comes against the backdrop of Kingfisher's lenders last month deciding to start the process to recover dues of over Rs 7,500 crore.

The beleaguered airline has dues towards payment of service tax, income tax, as also Provident Fund of employees and dues of the oil companies.

Besides, it has to pay huge amounts to the lessors of its aircraft and service providers like the Airports Authority of India.

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Will Vijay Mallya use his wealth to save Kingfisher Airlines?
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Business Today's research shows the net worth of Mallya and his family has leapt by Rs 3,500 crore in the past year to Rs 8,296 crore, while the Kingfisher Airlines stock has plunged to about Rs 11 from Rs 30 last year, wiping out almost two-thirds of ...
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Sunday 3 March 2013

State Bank of India [SBI] board set to move on Kingfisher Airlines Loan recall

State Bank of India, the largest lender to the debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines, is expected to get board approval this week to issue a loan recall notice to the beleaguered airline.

“The process starts on Monday. We will most likely get board approval this week or latest by next week,” said Shyamal Acharya, deputy managing director at SBI.

SBI is the lead banker of the 17-lender consortium, which has an exposure of about Rs7,000 crore to liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s defaulting airline, as of December 31, 2012. 
Within this, SBI has maximum exposure of over Rs1,600 crore.

Kingfisher, which has been grounded for more than four months, has been unable to obtain clearances to fly again and has also failed to get fresh capital from foreign airlines like Etihad Airways.

The airline lost its flying licence last year, with the scheduled operator permit – temporarily suspended by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in October following a strike by its pilots and engineers over non-payment of salaries for several months that completely grounded its fleet – expiring on December 31.

In the latest blow, the government last week withdrew all domestic and international flying slots of the grounded carrier – working out to around 25,000 seats – with immediate effect and decided to allot them to other Indian airlines. These included around 126 slots for international flights to eight countries.

Acharya said the consortium expects to send the loan recall notice to Kingfisher by this month end, and has also hired a law firm to assist it in the legal battle.

Acharya refused to disclose the name of the firm but said he is going to meet the firm soon to seek legal options for recovery.

Acharya said the consortium can invoke provisions under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities (Sarfaesi) Act or sell the pledged United Spirits shares.

The Sarfaesi Act allows the lender to sell the defaulter’s assets without requiring a court order.

“Recalling loans is the only option left with the consortium. But I don’t expect Kingfisher to be responsive,” said Acharya. “We have a strong case and it is going to be a long fight ahead.”

Kingfisher officials declined to comment.

If Dr Vijay Mallaya,
Gopal Kanda cheated you
That dosen't mean that 
whole Aviation Industry 
is Bad
Remember Aviators like
Captain JRD Tata too :-)

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Saturday 2 March 2013

Captain J. R. D. first Pilot Licence in India father of Indian Civil Aviation.

Captain  J. R. D. Tata was inspired early by aviation pioneer Louis BlĂ©riot, and took to flying. On February 10, 1929 Tata obtained the first Pilot Licence issued in India.[3] He later came to be known as the father of Indian Civil Aviation. He founded India's first Commercial Airline, Tata Airlines in 1932, which became Air India in 1946, now India's national Airline.

He joined Tata & Sons as an unpaid apprentice in 1925. In 1938, at the age of 34, JRD was elected Chairman of Tata & Sons making him the head of the largest industrial group in India.He took over as Chairman of Tata Sons from his uncle Nowroji Saklatwala. For decades, he directed the huge Tata Group of companies, with major interests in Steel, Engineering, Power, Chemicals and Hospitality. He was famous for succeeding in business while maintaining high ethical standards - refusing to bribe politicians or use the black market.
Under his chairmanship, the assets of the Tata Group grew from US$100 million to over US$5 billion. He started with 14 enterprises under his leadership and half a century later on July 26, 1988, when he left, Tata & Sons was a conglomerate of 95 enterprises which they either started or in which they had controlling interest.

He was the trustee of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust from its inception in 1932 for over half a century. Under his guidance, this Trust established Asia's first cancer hospital, the Tata Memorial Center for Cancer, Research and Treatment, in Bombay in 1941. It also founded the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS, 1936), the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR, 1945), and the National Center for Performing Arts.
In 1945, he founded Tata Motors. In 1948, JRD Tata launched Air India International as India's first international airline. In 1953, the Indian Government appointed JRD Tata as Chairman of Air India and a director on the Board of Indian Airlines - a position he retained for 25 years. For his crowning achievements in aviation, he was bestowed with the title of Honorary Air Commodore of India.
JRD Tata cared greatly for his workers. In 1956, he initiated a program of closer 'employee association with management' to give workers a stronger voice in the affairs of the company. He firmly believed in employee welfare and espoused the principles of an eight-hour working day, free medical aid, workers' provident scheme, and workmen's accident compensation schemes, which were later, adopted as statutory requirements in India. In 1968, he founded Tata Consultancy Services. In 1979, Tata Steel instituted a new practice: a worker being deemed to be "at work" from the moment he leaves home for work till he returns home from work. This made the company financially liable to the worker for any mishap on the way to and from work. In 1987, he founded Titan Industries. Tata Steel Township was also selected as a UN Global Compact City because of the quality of life, conditions of sanitation, roads and welfare that were offered by Tata Steel.

Awards and Honors

JRD Tata received a number of awards. He received the Padma Vibhushan in 1957 on the eve of the silver jubilee of Air India. He also received the Guggenheim Medal for aviation in 1988. In 1992, because of his selfless humanitarian endeavors, JRD Tata was awarded India's highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna. In the same year, JRD Tata was also bestowed with the United Nations Population Award for his crusading endeavors towards initiating and successfully implementing the family planning movement in India, much before it became an official government policy.

If Dr Vijay Mallaya, Sahara, Gopal Kanda cheated you That dosen't mean that whole Aviation Industry is Bad Remember Aviators like Captain JRD Tata too :-)

If Dr Vijay Mallaya,
Gopal Kanda cheated you
That dosen't mean that 
whole Aviation Industry 
is Bad
Remember Aviators like
Captain JRD Tata too :-)

Friday 1 March 2013

Kingfisher Airlines Loses Rights To Fly To Dubai

The carrier has lost its traffic rights allowing it to fly 21 times a week into the UAE.

India’s Kingfisher Airlines has ceased serving the UAE after the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation withdrew the carrier’s international flying rights and domestic slots on Tuesday.

The airline had been allocated traffic rights by India’s aviation governing body around five years ago to fly 21 times a week into Dubai.

A statement issued by the ministry said that Shri Ajit Singh, minister of civil aviation, “has decided to withdraw all International Bilateral Traffic Rights allocated to Kingfisher Airlines with immediate effect”.

As well as Dubai, the carrier will no longer service Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the UK. The traffic rights will be handed over to other Indian carriers.

“These international traffic rights have been withdrawn from Kingfisher Airlines on account of non-utilisation by the airlines,” the statement read.

“This would give additional availability of approximately 25,000 seats per week for use by other Indian carriers to these eight countries, some of which are much in demand by these carriers.”

The revoking of its international flying rights is the latest blow to the carrier after it lost its license at the end of last year.

The airline has been grounded since October 1 following staff protests and refusal of banks to grant fresh loans.

The carrier has been in discussion with various investors, including Gulf carriers, for equity investments but so far nothing has materialised.

Kingfisher, which launched in 2005, had been due to join the Oneworld alliance, but its membership was put on hold.

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India Capital Market Regulator SEBI Cautions Investors from Dealing with Subrata Roy Sahara, Issues Public Notice

Sahara Airlines

India Capital Market Regulator SEBI Cautions Investors from Dealing with Subrata Roy Sahara, Issues Public Notice Taking head-on, the might and influence of Subrata Roy the

When irresistible force collides with an immovable object, something has to give. In the coming weeks, we will know whether the political heft of Subrata Roy of the Sahara Group can save him from the combined might of two of India’s most powerful regulators – the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

The short message from the two regulators to Sahara is simple: return the money to investors and depositors and get out. Your money-raising business is risky for investors.

Regulators being regulators, that’s not the actual language used, but it’s a plain-English translation of their stance.

The Sahara Group – which is into various kinds of barely-legal fund-raising schemes that have shocked the regulators – was asked three years ago by the RBI to wind down the deposit-taking operations of Sahara India Financial Corporation (SIFC), a residuary non-banking finance company. It was forced to stop accepting deposits maturing after June 30, 2011, and has been asked to return all remaining deposits by June 30, 2015. But it did not do so – as we shall see later.

Now, Sebi, in an order dated June 23, has ordered two other Sahara companies – Sahara  Commodity Services Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation (SHIC) – to return the money collected through the issue of optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs) from investors with 15% interest. SHIC was formerly called Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIREC).

The two companies, which had minuscule net worth of a few lakh rupees when they started passing the hat around to investors in 2008 and 2009, had the gumption to target a collection of a humongous Rs 40,000 crore – yes, Rs 40,000 crore – for vague purposes before Sebi stepped in. And, curiously for an OFCD issue involving 6.6 million investors, the issues were to be kept permanently open. Something unheard of in the capital market. OFCDs are debentures which investors can convert into shares at their option.

According to a calculation by Business Standard, the amount to be disgorged following the Sebi order would be in excess of Rs 4,383 core. The order is subject to confirmation by the Supreme Court.

The Sebi order also bars Subrata Roy and his aides from accessing the capital market till the money is returned.

Among other things, Sebi has found that the two companies did not have proper lists of investors, were raising money from the public by pretending it was a private placement of shares when it was actually a public offer, had filed red herring prospectuses with the Registrar of Companies with the deliberate idea of excluding Sebi’s jurisdiction, and were planning to operate bank accounts of different companies as though they were one. In short, it has accused Sahara of a potential failure of fiduciary responsibility.

Sebastian D'SOUZA/AFP
If we connect the dots, the fact that the RBI had asked SIFC to wind down and return the deposits ties in well with the fact that two other Sahara companies were trying to raise ultra-large amounts of money on various pretexts. It is not difficult to imagine that the money could flow from these two companies to the one under pressure from the RBI.

The Sebi order, written by wholetime member KM Abraham, hints at the possibility of the Sahara Group running a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme is one where the operator relies on new investors to pay off older investors. Bernie Madoff got 150 years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme in the US.

Was (or is) Sahara running one? Sebi doesn’t say so. The reference to Ponzi comes in this context. When Sahara’s legal eagles were given a chance to air their views on why the two companies should not be asked to return the money collected to investors, they pointed out to Sebi that there were no complaints from investors at all.

To which Abraham says: “Most major ‘Ponzi’ schemes in the financial markets, which have finally blown up in the face of millions of unsuspecting investors, have historically never been accompanied by a gradual build up of investor complaints. But when financial catastrophes have indeed finally erupted, they do so with little warning and lead to major collapses in the financial markets with disastrous consequences to investors.”

Ponzi or not, both the RBI and Sebi are clearly worried about the systemic risks of allowing Subrata Roy to run his financial schemes.

Two things are clear: for whatever reason, Roy seems to need a lot of money pronto; and there are enough gullible investors out there who don’t check to see whether companies raising money are even allowed to do so. Which is why the regulators have taken pre-emptive steps.

But from here on the battle lines get blurred. Once the Supreme Court confirms the Sebi order, the man who counts many top Uttar Pradesh politicians (Mulayam Singh, among them), showbiz celebrities (Amitabh Bachchan and many Bollywood stars) and the cricketing fraternity (he is the official sponsor of the Indian cricket team and owner of the Pune IPL franchise) as his friends will need all the support they can give.

But political clout has not worked so far. In the growing climate of public anger against corruption and official wrongdoing, the courts and regulators have found the courage to plod on against people tilting against the law. Subrata Roy’s companies are up against it precisely because of this climate where an A Raja or Kanimozhi cannot get bail easily.

Pushed to the wall by the RBI, Roy’s companies have been raising money through various means. But the RBI struck back in January, when it released notices in newspapers saying they were not supposed to raise money. The notice said that of the three Sahara companies registered with it, one (SIFC) had been asked to wind up its deposit taking business, and the other two – Sahara India Corp Investment and Sahara India Infrastructure Development – had no business raising deposits.

But thanks to the wide enough public recognition the Sahara Group enjoys through its para-banking arm and association with two Indian passions – cricket and films – money was being raised anyway in the name of the Sahara Parivar.

This forced the RBI to warn that “it does not guarantee the repayment of deposits accepted by SIFC or any other company in that group.” Strong words from a regulator.

But the war is far from over. While Abraham has delivered his order, by a curious coincidence, he has complained to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that tax officials are harassing him at the instigation of some officials in the finance ministry. In his letter, he has also alleged that similar treatment was being meted out to a colleague, MS Saboo. Both Saboo and Abraham apparently bought apartments in Mumbai in 2009.

Equally curiously, neither Abraham nor Saboo has been given an extension by the finance ministry though both were eligible. Abraham retires as Sebi member on July 30 this year. Sebi’s previous Chairman, CB Bhave, who too was not given an extension after being widely presumed to have the finance ministry’s nod, is also being probed by some agencies.

But his parting kick to the Sahara Group is reminder enough of the diligence he has brought to investigating the affairs of a controversial group with friends in high places.