*V R SHARMA – MD, JSPL on rise in steel prices in Europe & input cost inflation*
“There is a worldwide crisis because of the Russian-Ukraine. The energy prices have gone up everywhere in the world and steel prices, in Europe, shot up by 10% in the last 2 days. Yesterday, March 1, ArcelorMittal declared an increase of EUR 150 on hot-rolled coil because input costs are very high.
So, this is going to create a lot of uncertainties in the market, but the benefit will be availed by the steel suppliers where there is no energy, raw material or input shortage, for example, in India. Coking coal prices have gone up by $40 per ton in the last 2 weeks & ~50% of input costs for the steel industry is towards energy.”
*MUKESH SURANA – CMD, HPCL on outlook on GRMs & capex plans*
“The product mix has been good. Petrol and diesel prices were good in the last quarter. So, the gross refining margin is definitely better than the earlier quarters. We started the year with GRMs of around $2, it was almost $6 or $7 in the last quarter.
Now the only thing is if crude prices go up very quickly and product prices do not go at the same pace, the GRM will be under pressure. I expect by the end of the year, the average GRM would be better than what we started within the year.
In the last 3-4 years, we did a massive capex on the expansion of the refining capacity and in making inroads into the new product portfolio of petrochemicals, LNG, etc. Incidentally, we did the capex when borrowing rates were benign and we are completing the projects when GRMs are good. We have worked to strengthen retail and marketing infra.”
*SATYANARAYAN GOEL – CMD, IEX on optimism regarding new merchant RE capacity set up in India*
“I believe India will see around 25 GW of renewable energy capacity set up on a merchant basis in next 3 yrs. In India, RE power plants mainly wind & solar have typically come up under the PPA route because financiers are comfortable only if there is an assured purchase. However, the tariffs have fallen to very low levels ~Rs 2.15-2.40 / kWhr.
When a RE company sells through the exchange, it typically gets ~Rs 3.50. We have been trying to convince financiers that, given the rising demand for electricity from EVs to electric cooking, there is no danger of energy not being sold. Since realisation is higher on exchange, there is a stronger assurance of the financiers getting their money back, perhaps faster.”
*PRALAY MONDAL – Deputy MD, CSB Bank on growth from retail portfolio*
“We need to grow our balance sheet and a become larger bank over a period of time. Most of our ratios, most of our basic parameters are looking very good. The only place where we need to now start focusing on is growth in the balance sheet. Retail is where the growth will come in the long run and will drive the growth of the bank.
We will offer a comprehensive range of products and services over the next 18 to 24 months. Gold loans accounted for 37% of the advances mix & retail loans were at 7% at the end of the third quarter of this fiscal. Over the next 5-6 years, we will bring share of retail loans (incl. gold) to ~50-55% of the advances. Wholesale & SME would be ~20-25% each of the book.”
*MOHIT BURMAN (VC, Dabur) – on open offer to acquire 26% stake in Eveready Industries*
“We hope the company can leverage the huge potential that the Eveready brand has & consolidate its market leadership in the dry cell business, besides looking at newer businesses. Eveready has ~50% share in the Indian dry cell battery segment. Hopefully, we can provide that impetus to the business.
The company has been doing ok. I feel it was bogged down by some promoter-level issues. Hopefully, that is a thing of the past. Once the process of open offer is complete, we would look to professionalise & mgmt. We will look to get some new talent on board so that this company can have a bright future.”