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Jindal Steel selling Botswanan coal mine for US$150M; fiscal Q1'20 earnings fall

Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. agreed to sell its Mmamabula coalfields in Botswana for about US$150 million to Maatla Energy Ltd. and plans to use proceeds to cut debt, India's Business Standard reported Aug. 13, citing emailed correspondence with the company and a regulatory filing.

Jindal acquired the project, which supplies coal for electricity generation, for US$116 million in 2012. "The assets are being rationalized and monetized keeping in view their long-term viability, the raw material security for [Jindal] and the profitability of each of these businesses," a company spokesperson told the publication.

In an Aug. 14 update, the company named Vidya Rattan Sharma managing director and to the company board, effective immediately.

Net income attributable to shareholders for the first quarter of Jindal's fiscal 2020 tumbled to 94.3 million Indian rupees from 1.81 billion rupees a year ago. A yearly rise in total income to 99.46 billion rupees from 96.65 billion rupees was offset by a surge in expenses to 99.35 billion rupees from 94.02 billion rupees. Results remained under pressure from high iron ore prices amid lower steel prices.

Crude steel production was up 12% on a yearly basis at 1.85 million tonnes, with sales rising 14% to 1.84 Mt. Consolidated EBITDA fell 5% year over year to 21.73 billion rupees. Net debt totaled 376.21 billion rupees as of June-end, falling by 14.40 billion rupees from the previous quarter.

As of Aug. 13, US$1 was equivalent to 70.93 Indian rupees.