Tide to turn for Varun Shipping?

Tide to turn for Varun Shipping?

Mumbai: The entire nine-strong fleet of gas carriers in the Varun Shipping stable is scheduled to be operational by June this year, and ready to attract strong charters in a segment of the shipping market that is doing well.

All the vessels in the financially troubled Mumbai-based shipowner’s fleet have been drydocked, have undergone mandatory classification checks and been refurbished at Drydocks World Dubai, after the company had its shipping licence (document of compliance) restored by India’s Directorate-General of Shipping.

The company’s licence had been cancelled last year after it could not produce the funds to drydock its ships in time for the compulsory safety checks, and also failed to pay salaries to its crews for periods extending to over six months.

Subsequently, the promoters, the Khatau family, brought in equity, cleared the dues of its crews and got all the class checks completed. The company also provided an adequate reply to the market watchdog, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), which had threatened to prevent it from accessing the stock markets if it failed to attend to some 90 long-pending investors’ grievances.

On Friday morning, the INR10 face value Varun Shipping share went from its Thursday evening closing of INR5.60 to the top of the circuit at INR5.85, and remained firmly entrenched there, in the absence of sellers and despite sizeable traded volumes of nearly 900,000 shares.

Shirish Nadkarni

Shirish Nadkarni is a management consultant and freelance international journalist, who has been writing on all spheres of Indian business for the past three decades for a number of reputed overseas publications. An avid sportsman, Nadkarni has represented India in international veterans' badminton since 1997, and was the 55+ age group doubles world champion in 2005.

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