India’s fourth largest private sector shipowner, Varun Shipping Co
, plans to raise 536m in an effort to expand business, mostly in the carriage of liquefied natural gas.
Varun Shipping will sell securities either in the domestic market or abroad to raise the money, it said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange
. The type of securities to be sold was not specified.
The board of directors also approved raising the limit on overseas shareholding to 49%.
The Indian shipping
ministry has asked the country's shipowners to take the initiative to develop a fleet of LNG carriers and to consider import of the gas only on free-on-board terms.
Most of the top shipowners, including the state-owned Shipping Corp of India, Great Eastern Shipping and Varun Shipping, are keen to get into the field with minimal delay. Varun has considerably ramped up its presence in the field of its niche market, LPG carriage.
The company has a 19-vessel fleet, including 11 gas carriers, and made it eligible for the accolade of the second largest fully refrigerated midsize gas carrier in the world.