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|18 January, 2019

India's Jet Airways falls; lenders may take write-off - report

Shares of Jet Airways (India) Ltd ell as much as 3.2% on Friday, on track for their ninth session of losses this month

A Jet Airways passenger plane takes off from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad.

A Jet Airways passenger plane takes off from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad.

REUTERS/Amit Dave

Shares of Jet Airways (India) Ltd fell as much as 3.2 percent on Friday, on track for their ninth session of losses this month, amid a media report stating that the debt-laden carrier's lenders might write-off up to a fourth of its debt.

Lenders to the airline are considering a plan to resolve its debt issues, top creditor State Bank of India (SBI) said on Thursday, while media reports said two main shareholders have yet to resolve their differences.

Separately, Indian newspaper Business Standard reported on Friday that the airline's lenders, led by SBI, might take a write-off of up to 25 per cent on the airline's debt.

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A plan involving a cash injection by stakeholders and board changes is under discussion and chairman Naresh Goyal had communicated his position to SBI which was under consideration, Jet has said.

Jet's shareholder Etihad Airways, which wants Goyal to step down, told SBI in a separate letter it was willing to buy more shares of the airline and immediately pump $35 million into the troubled carrier if Goyal does so.

Jet did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The airline suffered a rocky ride in 2018, dented by oil prices, fierce competition and a weaker rupee.

Nearly 7.5 million shares traded as of 0420 GMT, half of its 30-day average volume of 14 million shares.

Shares fell as much as 3.3 percent to 276 rupees.

(Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich) ((tanvi.mehta@thomsonreuters.com; +91 80 67494756 ; Reuters Messaging: tanvi.mehta.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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