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Coal India Ltd is getting closer to acquiring global assets to boost production by signing a few more non-disclosure pacts with overseas companies, in addition to the three signed a few months ago, a company executive said on Monday.
"Some more non-disclosure agreements have been signed, the official said, declining to be named. "Well be appointing bankers from our panel for due diligence of these assets after approval from the competent authority.
Coal India, the worlds largest coal producing company that mined 452.21 million tonnes in 2012-13, has a war chest of Rs.35,000 crore for the next five years for overseas acquisitions as its expansion plans in India remain bogged down with social and environmental difficulties.
The global economic slowdown has hit the natural resources sector hard and brought several assets for sale, and more proposals have been presented to Coal India in addition to the 32 that had come earlier, the official said.
The company expects to study the proposals, which have come from many countries including the US, Africa and Australia, he added.
Investors have given a thumbs-up to Coal Indias plan to acquire a global footprint, but news on its progress has done little to lift stocks owing to the long gestation period of such acquisitions.
On 6 June, chairman S. Narsing Rao said he was looking at equity stakes for production-sharing or even majority ownership in the assets.
Global miner Rio Tintos assets, some in Australias Queensland, are among those that Coal India is considering for purchase, the official quoted above said.
Coal India shares closed 2.29% higher at Rs.274.35 on BSE, while the Sensex was up 0.84% at 18,946.98 points.
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