Five borrowers with 6% outstanding service half of NSEL payout in 4 wks

Written by Devangi Gandhi | Mumbai | Updated: Sep 12 2013, 19:41pm hrs
The National Spot Exchange (NSEL) remains dependent on just a handful of borrowers to recover dues, with data showing that nearly 50% of the settlement amount in the past four weeks has come from just five borrowers.

Topworth Steel & Power, Metkore Alloys & Industries, Aastha Minmet, MSR Food processing and Sankhya Investments have paid back Rs 69 crore, or 21%, of their combined dues. Collectively, these entities are responsible for nearly half of the total settlement in the last four weeks even though their dues account for just about 6% of the total outstanding amount of Rs 5,573 crore.

Topworth Steel & Power has paid the highest amount of outstanding among the 24 NSEL borrowers; it has cleared close to Rs 46.15 crore, or 27%, of its dues. The company is part of Mumbai-based Topworth Group, which, according to its website, has revenues exceeding $1 billion though business interests in steel, mining, energy, infrastructure and aluminium foils, among others.

FEs efforts to contact the company officials of Topworth on phone and at their office in Nariman Point, Mumbai, did not meet with any results. Heads of both marketing and finance operations declined to comment on the NSEL issue or on how they are meeting payment obligations.

Meanwhile, Metkore Alloys and Industries, a listed company which has serviced 16% of its Rs 106.9 crore dues to NSEL, did not revert with any response at the time of going to press.

Another company, Aastha Minmet, which owed Rs 26.5 crore to NSEL, has paid Rs 2.8 crore over the past four weeks. The company was the first small-sized coal importer that used the NSEL platform to sell 3,000 tonne of non-coking coal.

We are committed to settling pending dues at the earliest...we are in talks with NSEL to resolve the issue with Steel TMT bar holdings so that we can repay our outstanding dues, said the company in an e-mail response.

Aastha Minmet failed to give any explanation on its outstanding dues of Rs 219.2 crore as clients of Juggernaut Projects, one of the 24 borrowers of NSEL that the exchange has declared as a defaulter. Aastha officials also did not comment on whether it intends to submit an updated draft prospectus with Sebi in the wake of its involvement in the NSEL crisis. In March this year, Aastha had filed a DRHP for an initial public offering of shares to garner Rs 42 crore of funds.

In percentage terms, a company called Sankhya investments has cleared the highest proportion of its returns at 32% of its Rs 7 crore of dues. No details could be ascertained about the company. Another borrower, MSR Food Processing, which used paddy as collateral, has repaid Rs 1.2 crore.

Data show that NSEL remains dependent on a handful of borrowers to collect dues even as a majority of borrowers have turned defaulters. Of the total 24 borrowers, 19 have been deemed as defaulters by the exchange.

NSEL, in its payout proposal, had planned to pay Rs 174.72 crore every week. In the past four weeks, it has managed to pay just Rs 137.06 crore to investors.