State-owned MMTC Ltd plans to introduce its own brand in gold jewellery, like its silverware brand Sanchi. The trading giant has already appointed a consultant to decide the brand name. Moreover, Ved Prakash, director, MMTC, expects the year to witness a grand surge in silver prices. Excerpts:
What are the plans for MMTC?
This year, we will add over 50 retail outlets to the existing 18 outlets, covering all major state capitals, metros and major industrial towns. By the end of this year, we plan to sell jewellery worth R100 crore. People will also see more of the retail outlets of Sanchi as we will add another 100 outlets to the present 100 showrooms.
What is the latest on follow-on public offer?
We have cleared the names of independent directors. Once SEBI is satisfied, we will start the formal process for off loading 10% stake, by the next fiscal.
What will be the behaviour of bullion in the year ahead?
Gold will not loose its shine but silver will dazzle. In 2010, silver has seen more of the paper and exchange trading than gold. On spot exchanges, investors are trading more silver. The year may see silver occupying larger chunk in the investor’s portfolio. Moreover, the prices of silver will further shoot up. Reason being, reserves of silver are very less. I believe it will be a scarce commodity in next 10-20 years, which will result in skyrocketing prices.
What are the plans for Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL), your strategic partner?
NINL is India’s largest exporter and producer of pig iron. It will enter into phase II, where we will undertake the production of steel. For this, latest technology has been imported from SMS Siemag, a German industry equipment provider. We will inject over R1,850 crore, where the company will produce 7.5 lakh tonnes of steel per annum (out of the total capacity of 1.1 million tonnes), rest will be pig iron.