Pratim Ranjan Bose

Kolkata, Dec. 28

BPCL is looking at booking profits in the third quarter through the issue of oil bonds.

Company sources confirmed that BPCL would end the quarter recording losses from operations primarily on account of sale of subsidised LPG and kerosene.

The company was in the red in both the preceding quarters. According to information available with NSE, BPCL ended the first half with a net loss of Rs 257 crore and an adjusted net loss of Rs 442 crore.

"The Centre has informed us of issuing oil bonds worth close to Rs 6,000 crore for the entire industry on ad-hoc basis. We are yet to be informed about BPCL's share in it," said a company official, adding that the final confirmation in this regard is expected latest by the second week of January.

BPCL is expecting to receive 20 per cent of the current issue of bonds.

"This will be enough to wipe out losses incurred in the first half and record profit in the third quarter," the official said, adding that the company is expected to enhance its borrowings by Rs 2,000 crore to tide over the current financial crisis.

The sources, however, maintained that the crisis would not affect BPCL's plan to set up a grassroots refinery at Bina in Madhya Pradesh through its SPV, Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd (BORL).

Having appointed SBI Caps as merchant banker, BORL is currently firming up the rupee loan component of the Rs 7,000-crore project. "We are expecting financial closure of the project by the end of the current fiscal," the official said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 29, 2005)
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