London-headquartered Vedanta Resources (VRL) chairman Anil Agarwal on Friday said he has never defaulted on debt repayments “ever”, even as he expects to earn $10 billion next year.
“I have invested $22 billion in oil & gas, similarly I have invested $17 billion in aluminium, $20 billion in zinc. My total debt from all these investments stands at $13 billion. I earned $5 billion last year from my different companies and expect to earn $10 billion next year. I have never defaulted on debt repayment. People are trying to target our development. People are wondering how we never defaulted on anything,” Agarwal said at the India Today Conclave 2023.
On March 10, rating agency Moody’s Investor Service downgraded the corporate family rating of VRL and senior unsecured bonds issued by the company over increasing risks in refinancing debts. According to the Moody’s report, VRL’s cash needs for the fiscal ending March 2024 remain large and include cross-border bonds of $400 million and $500 million due in April and May 2023, respectively, and a $1-billion bond maturing in January 2024. It also has an estimated $1.1 billion in term debt, $450 million of an inter-company loan and an estimated interest bill of at least $600 million.
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Earlier in February, S&P Global Ratings said the liquidity of VRL hinges on its fundraising abilities and the next few weeks would be crucial for the company.
Agarwal also said that India’s capabilities to build semiconductor chips will transform its image globally, and given the accomplishments in various fields of its time the country is counted as a first world nation.
“India, despite several challenges, has built a solid roadmap to develop semiconductor chips, a key component integral to industries ranging from automobiles to electronics. Chip manufacturing in India was a dream that has turned into a reality because of the vision of this government,” Agarwal said. “Chip manufacturing will change our image in the world, it is time for India to transition to the first world.”
Last year, Vedanta
“The land and infrastructure are really good. We are trying to start production of chips in 2-2.5 years. Simultaneously, we want a supporting ecosystem to also develop,” he added.
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According to the billionaire industrialist, given its accomplishments in various fields such as renewable energy and manufacturing, it is time for India to be counted as a ‘first world’ nation. The country is also moving ahead, including in the use of renewable and hydrogen-powered energy, he added.
‘First world’ is a term for a developed and industrialised country characterised by political and economic stability, democracy and a high standard of living among others.