Saudi transport plans in focus as Talgo says train deal scrapped

Updated 15 July 2015
0

Saudi transport plans in focus as Talgo says train deal scrapped

MADRID: Talgo said on Wednesday Saudi Arabia had cancelled a contract for six high-speed trains, suggesting the Gulf state is scaling back some infrastructure projects in a climate of low oil prices.
The Spanish trainmaker won the $201 million contract in February, following on from a feasibility study into building a high-speed rail line between Riyadh and Dammam, capital of the country's oil-rich Eastern Province.
Talgo, whose share price tumbled 12 percent after its statement, gave no explanation for the cancellation, and Saudi officials responsible for the project could not be reached for comment.
The world's top oil exporter is spending tens of billions of dollars on upgrading its transport infrastructure as part of efforts to diversify the economy.
In September, Spanish transport consultancy Consultrans said it had won a contract for a 10-month feasibility study into the rail project. The high-speed link would cut the rail travel time between Riyadh and Dammam to under three hours from 4-1/2 hours. In May, the government in Riyadh awarded a $2.1 billion contract to operate a new bus system in the capital.
Talgo said the canceled contract would not materially affect its financial projections for 2015 and 2016.


Shareholders of India’s Jet Airways approve debt-for-equity swap

Updated 23 February 2019
0

Shareholders of India’s Jet Airways approve debt-for-equity swap

  • The plan will mean the lenders will have a bigger holding than any other shareholder
  • Currently, Chairman Naresh Goyal owns a 51 percent stake in the company and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways owns 24 percent

MUMBAI: India’s Jet Airways said late on Friday that its shareholders approved a plan to convert existing debt to equity, paving the way for the troubled company’s lenders to infuse funds and nominate directors to its board.
Jet’s board last week approved a plan by lenders, led by State Bank of India, for an equity infusion, debt restructuring and the sale or sale-and-lease-back of aircraft.
The plan will mean the lenders will have a bigger holding than any other shareholder.
Currently, Chairman Naresh Goyal owns a 51 percent stake in the company and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways owns 24 percent.
Jet, which had net debt of 72.99 billion rupees ($1.03 billion) as of end-December, has debt payments looming next month, according to rating agency ICRA. It has been unable to pay pilots’ salaries and has outstanding bills to aircraft lessors.
The company, India’s biggest full-service carrier, is struggling with competition from budget rivals, high oil prices and a weaker rupee. The share price took a beating in 2018, losing nearly 70 percent of its value.
In a regulatory filing, Jet said on Friday that 98 percent of its shareholders voted to increase the share capital to 22 billion rupees ($309.8 million) from 2 billion rupees at a special meeting.
Jet, whose financial woes are set against the backdrop of wider aviation industry problems, has been in the red for four straight quarters.