zoomImage Courtesy: SAAM Chilean port, towage and logistics services provider SAAM unveiled its plans to invest some USD 85 million to reinforce its tug fleet and maintain port equipment and infrastructure.The company added that the investment could also cover inorganic growth opportunities that SAAM is constantly evaluating, according to Óscar Hasbún, SAAM’s chairman.The investment comes on the back of the company’s new operating model, launched last year with an aim to make the organization more flexible, modern and efficient. “These efforts will help us streamline operations and continue expanding to strengthen our leadership in the region,” Hasbún added.SAAM revealed the investment as part of its 2017 financial results. For the year 2017, SAAM reported net income of USD 60.4 million, up 11% from USD 54.5 million in 2016.This figure includes USD 26 million in extraordinary items, mainly from the sale of its minority interest in Tramarsa (Peru).Highlights during the year include increased activity at Terminal Terminals Guayaquil (TPG) and the incorporation of the main port on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica (Puerto Caldera), which helped offset reduced results from the Logistics Division and Chilean port terminals.“In 2017 we concluded a high investment cycle with over USD 500 million in capital expenditures over the last four years, giving us state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment to continue growing,” Hasbún said.Additionally, SAAM elected a new board which will hold office for the next three years. The board will now consist of Oscar Hasbún, Jean Paul Luksic, Francisco Pérez Mackenna, Francisco Gutiérrez and Diego Bacigalupo. Jorge Gutiérrez and Armando Valdivieso Montes were also elected as independent directors.
New Delhi: The National Housing Bank’s direction to housing finance companies to desist from providing loans under subvention scheme will lead to increase in interest cost for homebuyers and aggravate the liquidity crunch faced by real estate developers, according to two apex bodies of the realty industry. Worried over frauds by builders, the National Housing Bank (NHB) has asked housing finance companies (HFCs) to “desist” from offering loans under interest subvention scheme wherein real estate developers pay pre-EMIs (equated monthly instalments) on behalf of homebuyers for a certain period. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe direction has been issued by the NHB in view of several complaints of frauds allegedly committed by certain builders using subvention schemes. When contacted, CREDAI President Satish Magar said, “It should not have been done. This will increase the interest cost for homebuyers as builders were paying EMIs on behalf of customers for certain period. There was not much harm from this scheme”. He, however, ruled out any negative impact on housing sales and liquidity situation of developers. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostBut, NAREDCO President Niranjan Hiranandani is of the view that this move will further affect the project funding. “In the aspect where it seeks to control frauds, it is obviously welcome, although the side effect will be further drying up of project funds,” he said. The real estate industry is “desperately” looking for the government support to come out form the liquidity crunch, Hiranandani said. He stressed the need for alternative funding sources for the developers. Anarock Chairman Anuj Puri said, “This will definitely put even more strain on many developers’ already precarious liquidity situation.” In order to attract more buyers for their projects and also raise funds for their construction, Puri said many real estate developers had resorted to offering various subvention schemes. “In these schemes, the developer basically took it on himself to repay the home loan amount on behalf of the buyer for a certain agreed period. In some cases, buyers were also taken for a ride if they didn’t read the terms and conditions carefully,” he added. Gulam Zia, executive director (valuation & advisory, retail & hospitality) of Knight Frank India, said the transaction volumes may come down in metro cities in the absence of the subvention scheme. “Subvention schemes are offered by reputed and A-grade developers on whom financial lenders had enough confidence. About 10-12 per cent of home loan market in top-8 cities were subvention schemes,” Zia said, adding that it was one of the most important schemes used by developers to induce purchase by homebuyers for under-construction properties. Ozone Group CEO Srinivasan Gopalan said, “This is good in the long run for developers. However, we do not appreciate any abrupt change overnight. This throws the entire planning out of gear.” He added that the subvention scheme had a lot of advantages to the customer as well as the financial risk on construction delays was wholly on the developer. Bengaluru-based Salarpuria Sattva group Managing Director Bijay Agarwal said buyers who were attracted to properties merely based on lucrative schemes would be discouraged. “In the long term, this maybe a good initiative from the government. It may bring stability among homebuyers and stop speculation,” he added.