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Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004

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Dredging Corpn closes up 2.5 pc

Jayanta Mallick

Kolkata , July 26

THE Dredging Corporation stock on Monday attracted a block deal worth one lakh shares on the BSE at Rs 408. The stock finished the trading session at Rs 410.75, up around 2.5 per cent from the previous closing price. Some 96.6 per cent of the BSE traded quantity of 1.07 lakh shares in the counter was marked for delivery.

On the NSE, there was no block deal and volume was low. According to analysts, at today's closing price, the stock traded at just 7 times its earning per share of Rs 58.5 in 2003-04.

Considering the future plans of the Government in the dredging sector and the growth plan of the company, the earnings in the current year should increase, they pointed out.

"It's definitely a value buy for a long-term investor", an analyst with an institutional brokerage commented.

Among the positives for earnings growth in the near future are the Centre's Sethusamudram ship canal project (Dredging Corporation is proposed to take an equity partnership as also project work), its plan to make foray into capital dredging with a global major and cost reduction measures.

In the domestic market, it is set to re-enter the inland waterways dredging segment as the Centre was planning to develop the channels and rivers in a bigger way.

It has also moved into the international waters by chartering out one of its dredgers; two more to be let out for global markets.

PwC is preparing a document for tapping overseas opportunities through joint ventures.

However, its monopoly in maintenance dredging (around 90 per cent) in the domestic market is set to go with changes in the new dredging policy.

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