Anil Agarwal-controlled Vedanta has approved its fifth interim dividend of Rs 20.50 per share or a total of Rs 7,621 crore for FY23 as parent Vedanta Resources seeks to shore up funds to trim debt. With this, the total outgo by way of dividends for FY23 is about Rs 37,733 crore. The record date for the fifth interim dividend is April 7.
The company also said its acting CFO and key managerial personnel Ajay Goel has resigned, effective from April 9, to pursue a career outside of the group. Vedanta will announce the successor in due course.
On January 27, Vedanta had declared an interim dividend of of Rs 4,647 crore and prior to that, on November 22, 2022, it had declared an interim dividend of Rs 6,505 crore. On July 19, 2022, an interim dividend of Rs 7,250 crore was announced. The company had paid its first interim dividend for FY23 on April 28, 2022, when it declared an outgo of Rs 11,710 crore.
In February, S&P Global Ratings said in a report that the liquidity of Vedanta Resources hinges on its fundraising abilities and the next few weeks would be “crucial”. It was “highly-likely” to meet its obligations until September 2023, it said, adding, sustaining liquidity beyond that would depend on the completion of at least one of two key ongoing transactions — a targeted $2-billion fundraise and the proposed sale of international zinc assets to HZL, in which Vedanta has a 65% stake.
In March, Moody’s Investor Service downgraded the corporate family rating of Vedanta Resources and its senior unsecured bonds over rising risk in refinancing debts. VRL’s cash needs for the fiscal year 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, according to the Moody’s report.
On March 15, Vedanta repaid $100 million to Standard Chartered Bank and the company’s pledged shares were released, and two days later VRL chairman Anil Agarwal said he had never defaulted on debt repayments “ever”, even as he expects to earn $10 billion next year.
On Tuesday, Vedanta’s share prices closed up 0.55% at Rs 274.20 on the BSE.