Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta may face investor, political unrest

Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta may face investor, political unrest

A troubled 2018 so far for billionaire Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta Ltd may get worse amid concern that its key copper smelter in southern India could remain shut until 2019, further pressuring a stock that’s down 25% since the start of the year.

Deadly protests last week over alleged pollution from the Tuticorin smelter have prolonged a shutdown of the 400,000 metric ton-a-year operation. After being hit earlier in the year by an iron ore mining ban and a steel acquisition roadblock, Vedanta, India’s biggest aluminium producer, has also warned it may be forced to reduce output of the metal.

The copper smelter may not restart for at least 12 months and the closure may shave about $200 million-$250 million from pre-tax earnings, said Vishal Kulkarni, a Singapore-based analyst at S&P Global Ratings. “The intensity of the protests and the intensity of the regulatory issues might mean that it could take some time.”

A combination of bad news across its operating industries has made Vedanta one of the biggest losers this year among the 10-member S&P BSE India Metal Index that’s slid by 12%. Concern over the stock’s growth prospects may see further falls, according to CNI Research Ltd. Read More

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