Metallic sheen

Despite a crashing global market for aluminium, state-owned Nalco is sitting pretty thanks to its low-cost alumina and substantial cash


Unlike its peers, which are reeling under pressure because of high debt, government-owned aluminium major National Aluminium Company (Nalco) is a little relaxed, sitting on cash of over Rs.5,300 crore, or 53% of its market capitalisation. Cash gives you a lifeline when markets turn bad, and the aluminium market has been hit by a downcycle over the past five years. While prices have recovered of late to the current level of around $1,600 a tonne from the low of $1,460 a tonne in November 2015, they are still down 70% compared with the peak of $2,700 per tonne in April 2011.