India’s Vistara places $3.1 billion order with Airbus, Boeing

Vistara said it would use the new planes to boost its domestic network and support its international operations, which are scheduled to start later this year. (Courtesy Vistara Facebook)
Updated 11 July 2018
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India’s Vistara places $3.1 billion order with Airbus, Boeing

MUMBAI: India’s newest airline Vistara said on Wednesday it had ordered 19 jets from Boeing and Airbus for a combined $3.1 billion as it prepares to launch international flights.
As the country enjoys a boom in air travel owing to its growing middle class, airlines are rapidly expanding their fleets to capture a slice of the market.
Vistara, a joint venture between Indian conglomerate Tata and Singapore Airlines, said it would buy six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 13 planes from Airbus’s fleet of A320neo and A321neo aircraft.
“These orders are a landmark step in Vistara’s journey and demonstrate our deep-rooted commitment to contributing to the rise of the Indian aviation industry and to offering more choices to our customers,” chief executive Leslie Thng said in a statement.
The company, which began operating in 2015, added that it had also agreed to hire another 37 Airbus A320neos from leasing companies.
Vistara said it would use the new planes to boost its domestic network and support its international operations, which are scheduled to start later this year.
In April, Indian airline Jet Airways said it had entered an agreement to buy 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in a deal that could be worth more than $7 billion.
There has been a six-fold increase in passenger numbers in India over the past decade as customers take advantage of better connectivity and cheaper fares thanks to a host of low-cost airlines.


Egypt stock market plunges as retail investors take flight

Updated 19 September 2018
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Egypt stock market plunges as retail investors take flight

  • Biggest index drop in Egypt since mid-2016
  • Saudi Arabia outperforms in Gulf

LONDON: Egyptian stocks tumbled to their lowest level this year on Wednesday as retail investors took flight.
A sharp rise in Suez Canal revenues, a major foreign exchange earner for the country, was not enough to quell investors concerns about the strength of the currency.
The main Egyptian stock index lost 3.8 percent which some fund managers blamed on generally negative sentiment toward emerging markets worldwide as well as more local speculation about possible currency devaluation.
“Our channel checks suggest the sell-off in the Egyptian market is local retail and institutions driven, on currency fears and speculation over a further round of devaluation,” said Vrajesh Bhandari, portfolio manager at Al Mal in Dubai, Reuters reported.
“Selling is further intensified as margin calls are triggered and technical support levels break down. The country canceled three consecutive Treasury auctions, citing investors’ unrealistic yield demands.”
Egypt’s Suez Canal revenues rose to $502.2 million in August up 6.7 percent from a year earlier according to official data released on Wednesday.
Elsewhere regional stock markets closed mostly lower with the exceptions of Abu Dhabi which edged 0.2 percent higher and Saudi Arabia, the best regional performer, which rose by 1.1 percent.
Saudi stocks are benefiting from the strong oil price which eased slightly yesterday but still hovered just under $79.
OPEC and some other oil producers including Russia will meet in Algeria on Sept. 23 to discuss how to allocate supply increases within their quota framework to offset the loss of oil exports from Iran following the introduction of sanctions by the US.
Those measures will come into force on Nov. 4 and data suggests that buyers are already retreating from Iranian crude purchases.
A key question for the oil price as well as regional stock markets in the weeks ahead will be the extent to which other Gulf oil exporters can compenaste for the loss of Iranian supplies by pumping more.