Shipping Corp earmarks Rs 900 crore to buy new vessels

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With the shipping industry passing through a rough weather, which has led to a massive correction in vessel prices, state-run Shipping Corporation has earmarked Rs 900 crore to lap up more vessels this year, a top official said.

“Demand situation is pathetic and so it is the right time to buy assets. We have a capex plan of Rs 900 crore for 2016-17. We have invested some money already and negotiations are on to buy a few more vessels,” SCI Chairman and Managing Director B B Sinha told reporters.

He added that the PSU recently purchased one offshore vessel and negotiations are on for another tanker.

In the June quarter, the company reported a 73 percent drop in profit at Rs 56 crore due to lower revenue, which declined 23 percent to Rs 840 crore.

Sinha, however, said there is nothing wrong with the company and it is doing its best to manage the turbulent times by pruning expenses.

He said the container segment is one of the most affected, while others are doing reasonably fine.

The corrective action being taken by the company includes controlling costs and diverting container vessels for coastal shipping, he said.