MUMBAI: India has decided to go ahead with state-run Life Insurance Corp’s initial public offering in May, due to strong market demand and a “solid” anchor investor base, a top finance ministry official said on Wednesday.
India expects to raise up to $2.74 billion from selling a 3.5 percent stake in LIC’s IPO, just a third of its original target, and is set to open on May 2 for anchor investors.
Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary at the department of investment and public asset management, said the size of the LIC IPO is “optimal” in current market conditions. The government had originally planned to sell a 5 percent stake in the company.
Tata’s Air India proposes to buy AirAsia India
Tata Group-owned Air India has proposed to buy the entire equity share capital of low-cost carrier AirAsia India, in which Tata has a majority stake, to merge into a single airline, according to an application with India’s competition commission.
The autos-to-steel conglomerate bought state-run carrier Air India in a $2.4 billion equity-and-debt deal, regaining ownership of what used to be India’s flagship carrier after nearly 70 years.
Tata Sons has an 83.67 percent stake in AirAsia India.
“This was expected, as it makes no sense for the Tata Group to own stakes in separate airlines,” said Vinamra Longani, head of operations at Sarin & Co, a law firm specializing in aircraft leasing and finance.
“The Tata Group has embarked on what will go down in history as possibly one of the most challenging airline realignments or turnarounds.”
While Air India has lucrative landing slots, Tata faces an uphill task to upgrade the airline’s aging fleet and turn around its financials and service levels.
France’s Atos moves Russian services to India and Turkey
Atos is moving services currently delivered from Russia to other countries, including India and Turkey, the French IT consulting group said on Wednesday in light of the conflict in Ukraine.
The feasibility of exiting Russia has required significant planning in terms of implications for business operations and employees based there, the company said in an earnings statement.
ONGC struggling to move Russian oil to Asia as sanctions bite
India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp., also known as ONGC, is struggling to find a vessel to ship 700,000 barrels of crude from Russia’s Far East, in a growing sign that complex trades involving one of Moscow’s biggest partners are being interrupted by Western sanctions, sources said.
Several Indian companies including ONGC have stakes in Russian oil and gas assets, and India has been buying more Russian crude since Moscow invaded Ukraine, snapping up the popular Urals crude grade, while other buyers have shunned Russian exports.
ONGC has a 20 percent stake in the Sakhalin 1 project that produces a Russian grade known as Sokol, which ONGC exports through tenders. Sokol is mostly bought by North Asian buyers and loaded from South Korea.
However, Moscow’s ability to ship that grade, which requires vessels that can break through ice, is becoming harder due to concerns from shippers over reputational risk, and the increasing difficulty for Russian assets to find insurance coverage.
Shipping companies are also less willing to move Russian oil in Asia, fearing the potential reputational risks involved with charters, the shipping sources added.
(With inputs from Reuters)