Loan Conversion

Chandi Dharmaratne

Apr 03, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan glass maker, Piramal Glass Ceylon, a Sr has converted more than half of its long term rupee debt to dollar loans to cut finance costs, a senior official said. “We have recently in the last quarter converted our (rupee) loans to foreign currency loans,” Sanjay Tiwari, chief executive of Piramal Glass Ceylon said.

“So 50 percent of our borrowings are foreign currency loans and the balance is in rupee loans which are at very competitive interest rates.”

Tiwari said Piramal Glass has long term debt of 2.7 billion rupees taken from a consortium of banks headed by DFCC Bank, a listed commercial bank.

He said 1.5 billion rupees of debt was converted to foreign exchange in November 2009.

Piramal borrows rupees at average weighted deposit rate (now about 7.4 percent) plus 4.0 percent, while it borrows dollars at 6.5 percent, Tiwari said.

Tiwari said Piramal Glass is expected half its interest costs by the move.

The company exports glass bottles in various sizes and colours to high end markets for bottling of various liquors and boutique wines. Nearly 70 percent of its exports go to India. Other markets include Europe, Australia an