Thursday, November 14, 2019

India kicks off Air India privatisation process in Singapore

Indian government has kicked off the process for privatising its debt-ridden national carrier Air India with a high level official team from the Department of Investment & Public Asset Management (DIPAM), civil aviation ministry and Air India conducting roadshows in Singapore this week, government sources have said.
The Indian government team is likely to visit London and Dubai also for discussions with prospective investors as a precursor to inviting expressions of interest (EoI).
“The team, headed by Secretary, DIPAM (T K Pandey), will make presentations and interact with prospective investors, including foreign airlines, investment funds and even HNIs (high net worth individuals) to gauge investor response and their feedback for the proposed divestment,” a member of the secretary-level core group formed to deal with Air India privatisation, told Arabian Business.
Indian government plans to divest 100 percent of its stake in the national carrier. Global management consultancy EY is advising the Indian government on the Air India divestment transaction.
Foreign investors, including foreign airlines and airport operators, can, however, hold only up to 49 percent equity in Air India under the foreign direct investment (FDI) rules for the aviation sector.
“As of now, there is no move to change the FDI rule for aviation sector to allow foreign investors to hold majority stake in the airline,” the senior government official said.
The core group member said the overseas road shows are mainly meant to woo foreign financial investors - international funds, HNIs, etc – who may want to hold minority stakes in Air India, looking at the long-term prospective of the airline, post-privatisation.
14/11/19 James Mathew/Arabian Business

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