March 17, 2017 / 9:29 AM / 3 years ago

India steel minister says he hopes SAIL, ArcelorMittal resolve JV issues by May

India's Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh speaks during an interview with Reuters in New Delhi, India, December 9, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India’s steel minister said he hoped state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL.NS) and ArcelorMittal SA ISPA.AS would resolve differences over building an $897 million (723 million pounds) automotive steel plant before the deadline in May to close the deal.

SAIL is banking on the proposed joint venture with the world’s number 1 steel producer, ArcelorMittal, to help it move to higher grades of steel in the automotive segment. A collapse of the proposal would further hamper its efforts to recover from seven straight quarters of losses.

“Before the May deadline, some solution should come, some good news should come,” Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh told reporters.

Reuters reported last month that talks between SAIL and ArcelorMittal were at a standstill, with the two companies disagreeing on key terms.

Reporting by Neha Dasgupta; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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