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JSW Steel plans to refinance Rs 5,500 cr debt

MUMBAI: Private sector steel firm JSW SteelBSE -1.15 % plans to refinance around Rs 5,500 crore of debt through foreign borrowing or domestic rupee debt in order to reduce its interest outgo, a top company official said today. 

"We plan to refinance around Rs 5,500 crore of debt, which has an interest of more than 11 per cent. This will be done either by foreign currency borrowing or through rupee debt," Joint Managing Director and Group
Chief Financial officer of JSW Steel, Seshagiri Rao told reporters here. 

He, however, didn't specify which route would be taken to refinance the debt. 

As per the company, it had a 50:50 ratio of rupee and foreign currency debt in its total balance sheet before the merger of 
JSW IspatBSE 0.40 % with JSW Steel. 

However, rupee debt portion has increased to 61 per cent post-merger with Ispat, while 39 per cent remains as foreign currency debt. 

Rao said the steel firm plans to reduce its rupee debt part to 50 per cent from the current 61 per cent going ahead. 

JSW Steel, which has a net consolidated debt of Rs 29,135 crore with a net debt to equity ratio of 1.38, also said it is comfortable with the current debt level given its balance sheet size. 

Referring to fund raising plans, Rao said the company has tied up funds for its future capital expenditure plan. 

On the green-field project in 
West Bengal, the company said that it had already invested around Rs 600 crore for various project work and trying for iron ore linkage. 

He also said that its proposed Odisha project is in exploratory stage. 

When asked about the market speculation regarding its interest on acquisition of Stemcor's Indian assets, Rao refused to comment, but pointed out that the company wanted to be backward integrated.