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AI’s 76% stake sale plan crashes, other alternatives to be evaluated

We ran a disinvestment process, where we made it very clear what type of bids we were interested in receiving… We asked certain type of bidders with certain bidding criteria to participate.

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Civil Aviation Ministry

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) The Central government has said that a 76 per cent stake sale process of the national carrier Air India has ended, as “no interest” was shown by bidders, however, it remains committed to the strategic divestment for which other alternatives will be evaluated.

“We ran a disinvestment process, where we made it very clear what type of bids we were interested in receiving… We asked certain type of bidders with certain bidding criteria to participate,” said Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.

“No body expressed any interest during that process. So just by that set of those circumstances it is clear that that process right now is over… We have to move forward and we have to consider other alternatives, now as market conditions as industry circumstances change, we will evaluate all those alternatives but that particular specific process for the moment has come to an end, if need be, we can restart that or any other process depending upon the appropriate market circumstances.”

However, the government clearly stated that it is still committed to the idea of Air India’s strategic divestment.

Sinha added: “The government is committed to strategic disinvestment, what the modalities are and the circumstances are, we will have to monitor and evaluate as we go along.”

According to the Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu a few days back the Empowered Group of Ministers set up to look at the — Air India Specific Alternate Mechanism — reviewed the situation.

The minister, who holds the charge of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said: “… Because there was no interest we have decided to review the situation soon. In the meantime to ensure that Air India runs properly a plan is being prepared by the Air India management to ensure that AI continues continues operate efficiently.

On May 31, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said that “no response” was received even during the extended submission deadline for the ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) bids under Air India’s divestment process.

“As informed by the Transaction Adviser, no response has been received for the Expression of Interest floated for the strategic disinvestment of Air India,” the ministry had said in a tweet.

“Further course of action will be decided appropriately.”

The government on May 1 had released a detailed document on clarifications sought by interested bidders regarding the divestment process.

The clarification document outlined that net current liabilities as Rs 88.16 billion (Rs 8,816 crore) and “these will remain with AI and AIXL (Air India Express) as these have been incurred in the course of business.”

“After deducting Rs 88,160 mn from Rs 333,920 mn, the remaining figure of INR 245,760 mn is the debt and liability quantum that will remain with AI and AIXL.”

As per the old timelines, the submission deadline for the EOI bids was earlier extended to May 31 and consequently, the date for the “intimation to the Qualified Interested Bidders” — QIB — which was supposed to have been the next stage was slated for June 15.

It was expected that by August-end, the government will be able to determine the highest bidder.

On March 28, the government had issued a Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) inviting ‘EOI’ for the strategic divestment of AI, along with the airline’s shares in AIXL and AISATS (Air India SATS Airport Services) from private entities including the airline’s employees.

The Central government owns 100 per cent equity of Air India. In turn, the airline holds full stake in Air India Express, while it holds 50 per cent stake in the joint venture AISATS.

Accordingly, it has been planned to divest 76 per cent government stake in AI, 100 per cent in AIXL and 50 per cent in AISATS.

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Zomato appoints Chaitanya Mathur as Global Head for its new event-driven vertical

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Zomato

New Delhi, Nov 16: Food ordering app Zomato on Friday appointed Chaitanya Mathur as the Global Head for Zomato Live — latest event-driven vertical of the firm. 

“We connected on the idea of organising engagement driven, large-scale events for all the users around the world and we are thrilled to have him on board to build Zomato Live and expand it globally,” said Deepinder Goyal, Founder and CEO, Zomato.

According to the company statement, Mathur has previously worked in various positions ranging from a financial analyst to an event manager and restaurateur, along with co-founding “The Grub Fest”.

“Zomato’s journey has really inspired me over the years and I am excited to be strengthening its future by leading the company into new domains and territories. I look forward to building Zomato Live together with the incredible team here,” said Mathur.

In the recent few months, Zomato has hired several senior people including former-MakeMyTrip COO Mohit Gupta as the CEO for the food delivery business; Sameer Maheshwary as the CFO; Rohithari Rajan as the Global Head for its ad sales business; and Thomas Phillippe as the General Counsel.

WeForNews 

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India Inc investment in foreign ventures falls 10% in Oct: RBI

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Reserve Bank of India RBI

Mumbai, Nov 16: Indian companies’ investment in their overseas ventures continued to be less than the year-ago period for the 19th month in a row as it fell 10.5 per cent to $1.76 billion in October, Reserve Bank data showed.

Indian companies had invested $1.96 billion in their overseas ventures during October 2017, as per the monthly summary on Outward Foreign Direct Investment (OFDI) by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

A review of the monthly data on overseas direct investment reflects a continuous decline of year-on-year figures since April 2017 when it had fallen about 44 per cent to $3.15 billion in April 2017 from $5.61 billion in April 2016.

In September, the investment by local companies in overseas firms was $1.58 billion.

Of the total $1.76 billion investment in October, $535.86 million was in the form of loans, $653.45 million was infused as equity capital and $567.57 million was through issuance of guarantee.

Six companies were among the major investors in October with an investment of more than $100 million, as per the RBI data.

Global Ivy Ventures made an equity infusion of $200.3 million in its wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK, Tata Communications Ltd issued a guarantee of $199.5 million to its unit in Singapore and GMR Airports Ltd lent $152.71 million to its unit in the Netherlands.

Reliance Energy Generation and Distribution Ltd issued a guarantee of $140 million to its unit in the US, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals lent $128.75 million to its unit in Switzerland, Mahindra CIE Automotive invested $116.37 million and $32.8 million in its units in Germany and Mauritius, respectively.

IANS

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Sensex gains nearly 200 points; telecom stocks rise

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Sensex Nifty Equity

Mumbai, Nov 16 (IANS) Broadly positive global markets, healthy macro-economic trade data and a slight recovery in the rupee aided the barometer S&P BSE Sensex to end with gains close to 200 points.

In addition, the risk taking appetite of investors was enhanced a day after credit rating agency Fitch affirmed India’s ‘Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating’ (IDR) at ‘BBB-‘ with a stable outlook.

Sector wise, healthy buying was witnessed in telecom, healthcare and energy stocks while scrips of banking companies came under selling pressure.

Besides, the rupee strengthened to Rs 71.80 per US dollar from its previous close of 71.98.

Index-wise, the S&P BSE Sensex closed 196.62 points up at 35,457.16 points. It had opened at 35,398.70 from its previous close of 35,260.54.

It touched an intra-day high of 35,545.85 and a low of 35,324.37.

The NSE Nifty50 closed 65.50 points higher or 0.62 per cent at 10,682.20 points.

On Thursday, foreign fund inflows touched a three-month high which along with low crude oil prices and a strengthened rupee guided the key Indian equity indices to close on a positive note.

Also, India’s merchandise exports grew by 17.86 per cent in October on a year-on-year basis, official data showed on Thursday.

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