India’s IndiGo and Qatar Airways to announce codeshare deal

IndiGo flies to 60 international destinations including Turkey, China, Vietnam, Myanmar and Saudi Arabia. (AFP)
Updated 05 November 2019

India’s IndiGo and Qatar Airways to announce codeshare deal

  • Qatar has in the past shown interest in investing in IndiGo but the Indian airline has resisted.
  • IndiGo flies to 60 international destinations including Turkey, China, Vietnam, Myanmar and Saudi Arabia

NEW DELHI: India’s largest airline, IndiGo , and Qatar Airways will make a strategic business announcement on Thursday, which media reports said would involve a codeshare agreement.
Qatar has in the past shown interest in investing in IndiGo but the Indian airline has resisted.
“We are very interested in IndiGo ... We are talking to IndiGo of doing codeshare, joint flights but not yet an equity stake in the airline,” Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, told Reuters in an interview in August.
Al Baker said they had talked to IndiGo but the airline was “not yet ready to take a foreign investor.” When it is ready, Qatar would be interested, he had said at the time.
Television news channels, citing other agencies, said on Tuesday Qatar Airways was not looking at a stake purchase in IndiGo.
Any deal, however, would come at a time when IndiGo’s two co-founders, Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, have been embroiled in a dispute about corporate governance of the airline, sparking concern among investors it could have an impact on the airline’s valuation and strategy.
IndiGo, which has about 40 percent share of the domestic Indian market, is planning an aggressive push into more international destinations.
The airline’s chief executive, Ronojoy Dutta, and al Baker would “talk about the vision and future for both the airlines,” they said in the statement.
Last week, IndiGo placed a historic order for 300 Airbus A320neo family planes, including the newest jet, a long-range version of the single-aisle A320neo family called the A321XLR.
IndiGo flies to 60 international destinations including Turkey, China, Vietnam, Myanmar and Saudi Arabia, which it added this year.


Alibaba confirms huge Hong Kong public listing worth at least $13bn

Updated 15 November 2019

Alibaba confirms huge Hong Kong public listing worth at least $13bn

  • Over-allocation options could take the total value to more than $13 billion, making it one of the biggest IPOs in Hong Kong for a decade
  • Alibaba Chief Executive Officer said the group wanted to participate in Hong Kong’s future

HONG KONG: Chinese technology giant Alibaba on Friday confirmed plans to list in Hong Kong in what it called a $13 billion vote of confidence in the turbulent city’s markets and a step forward in its plans to go global.
The enormous IPO, which Hong Kong had lobbied for, will come as a boost for authorities wrestling with pro-democracy protests that have tarnished the financial hub’s image for order and security and hammered its stock market.
Alibaba will offer 500 million shares at a maximum of HK$188 apiece to retail investors, the company said. The number eight is considered auspicious in China.
Over-allocation options could take the total value to more than $13 billion, making it one of the biggest IPOs in Hong Kong for a decade after insurance giant AIA raised $20.5 billion in 2010.
Alibaba had planned to list in the summer but called it off owing to the city’s long-running pro-democracy protests and the China-US trade war. The US and China are now working on sealing a partial trade deal.
Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Chief Executive Officer, said the group wanted to “contribute, in our small way, and participate in the future of Hong Kong.”
“During this time of ongoing change, we continue to believe that the future of Hong Kong remains bright,” he said.
The firm’s shares are already traded in New York. A second listing in Hong Kong is expected to curry favor with Beijing, which has sought to encourage its current and future big tech firms to list nearer to home after the loss of companies such as Baidu to Wall Street.
In the statement, Zhang said that when Alibaba went public in 2014 it “missed out on Hong Kong with regret.”
Mainland authorities have also stepped up moves to attract such listings, including launching a new technology board in Shanghai in July.
The listing comes after the city’s exchange tweaked the rules to allow double listings, while Chief Executive Carrie Lam had also been pushing Alibaba’s billionaire founder Jack Ma to sell shares in the city.
“The listing in Hong Kong will allow more of the company’s users and stakeholders in the Alibaba digital economy across Asia to invest and participate in Alibaba’s growth,” the company said.
It has long been expected to launch a multibillion-dollar stock listing in Hong Kong but appeared to postpone the offering because of political and economic turmoil.
Hong Kong’s key Hang Seng Index rose 0.48 percent in morning trading following the announcement
Chinese shoppers set new records for spending on Monday’s annual 24-hour “Singles’ Day” buying spree, despite an economic slowdown in the country and the worries over the US trade war.
It said consumers spent $38.3 billion on its platforms over that stretch, up 26 percent from the previous all-time high mark set last year.
Alibaba also said it saw record amounts of cross-border sales, underlining its plans to expand globally.
“Globalization is the future of Alibaba Group. We firmly believe the marriage of digital technology and commerce will bring about unprecedented change that will not be limited by borders,” Zhang said.