MMTC to invest Rs 145 crore in gold refinery and jewellery retail

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Kolkata, Oct 8(UNI) The state-run MMTC Limited will invest Rs 145 crore to foray into jewellery retail business and set up a medallion and gold refinery unit through joint ventures.

The public sector enterprise also contemplates to go for a separate joint venture for setting up of a jewellery SEZ in West Bengal.

Deciding to go for initial public offering(IPO) for the proposed Rs 100-crore medallion and gold refinery project in tandem with a foreign partner, MMTC has already short listed three companies who participated in bidding following an expression of interest, Chief General Manager, Resources Asish Majumder said here today.

"Our board will meet this month over this issue. We are now awaiting permission from the Industry Ministry," Mr Majumder said.

MMTC was in dialogues with Haryana, Maharashtra and Karnataka Governments who had offered land for the proposed project.

Planning an initial investment of Rs 45 crore for the proposed jewellery retail business, the company was looking to rope in an Indian partner to set up 50 outlets across the country in three years.

" In the first year we intend to set up 20 retail outlets and increase the number to 20 in the second and 50 in the third year. We are prefering an Indian partner for this venture, the funds for which would be mobilised through equity participation, but we are also open to foreign participation," Mr Majumder said.

For both the gold refinery and jewellery retailing business, MMTC proposed to hold 26 per cent equity in the joint venture companies leaving 24 for the partners and the rest for financial institutions.

In reply to a question, Mr Majumder said the company was in talks with West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) for the propsed SEZ in jewellery and appointed PriceWater House Coopers as consultant for carrying out the feasibility study.

The proposed project would require 75 to 100 acres of land, he said.

UNI

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