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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tulip’s Rs.1,800-cr loan rejig decision likely by month end
~~Pranav Nambiar, Vishwanath Nair: Mumbai
Tulip Telecom is in for some relief with bankers likely to approve a Rs.1,800-crore loan restructuring package for the debt-laden telecom services and IT solutions provider. The corporate debt restructuring (CDR) cell will have one more meeting by March-end and a final decision on the loan recast should be taken by then.

“Approvals from a majority of the lenders are expected by the month end, by when a final decision is expected,” said a banker in the know of developments.

For a CDR package to go through, at least 75% of creditors by value and 60% by number need to give their go-ahead. ICICI Bank is the lead banker of the consortium.

Tulip had approached lenders for a debt recast during the October-December period. The company had made big investments in data centres, which do not seem to have yielded desired results. It defaulted on redemption of foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) worth $140 million, which were due in August, apart from delaying salaries last year.

The company exited its joint venture with Qualcomm for fourth-generation broadband services in May last year after selling its 13% stake to Bharti Airtel. It had publicly stated that the proceeds from this sale would be used to repay the FCCB debt.

Tulip Telecom owes nearly Rs.2,700 crore, which includes Rs780 crore in FCCBs, Rs.600 crore of term loans, non-convertible debentures worth Rs.545 crore and external commercial borrowings (ECBs) of Rs.340 crore.

The company reported consolidated net loss of Rs.85 crore for the quarter ended December, due to subdued macro-environment which led to prolonged conversion of prospective clients to order book. Total revenues for the company also declined 23% to Rs.528.67 crore for the reported quarter.

The Indian banking industry — especially state-owned lenders — has been grappling with the issue of higher restructured assets over the last few quarters.

According to Crisil, loans restructured by Indian banks are estimated to go up to Rs.3.25 lakh crore in FY13. The proportion of restructured loans in this period will be around 5.7% of advances. The majority of restructuring will be in loans to state power utilities and the construction and infrastructure sectors.

Bogged down:

* Company defaulted on FCCB redemption worth $140 million due in Aug
* It owes nearly Rs.2,700 Cr to creditors
* This includes Rs.780 Cr in FCCBs, Rs.600 Cr of term loans, NCDs worth Rs.545 Cr and ECBs of Rs.340 C