Profitable Year for Shipbuilding Companies

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Increased spending on offshore exploration & production (E&P) of oil and gas has increased order-book positions of Indian shipbuilders. ABG Shipyard has an order backlog of Rs 1,300 crore, while Bharati Shipyard has pending orders worth Rs 676 crore on its books. The jump in order books is getting reflected in stock prices of these companies as well. BSL has seen its market cap soar to almost Rs 900 crore from Rs 309 crore at the beginning of 2005. Newly-listed ABG Shipyard has gained 40 percent since its listing in December last year to Rs 1,900 crore. State-owned Cochin Shipyard is also doing well, with 20 ships having been ordered -- 19 of these are foreign orders. Cochin Shipyard had taken a policy decision to concentrate on the overseas business. Even in the case of the other two, overseas orders make major contribution to its business. Oil and gas companies around the world have reported bumper profits. Some are ploughed back to search for more oil. MNC oil majors such as Exxon, BP and Shell have registered record high profits for 2005, largely on account of the continuing strength in crude oil prices. US oil major Exxon recorded a net profit of $36 billion for 2005, while Shell and BP clocked profits of $23 billion and $19 billion, respectively. High crude oil prices have also resulted in increasing expenditure on E&P and equipment suppliers. Higher profits for oil companies are translating into more investments in oil E&P, much of it offshore. (Source: www.tmcnet.com)

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