DAILY BASKET – NEWS COMMENTARY
Air India for Sale
MARSAL COMMENTS: The Indian government is planning to sell its “white elephant”, Air India. It continues to make losses and had to be bailed in 2012 with $4.5 Billion of government money. Despite that, it still has $ 8 Billion of debt. Not a very appetizing meal? Maybe, but it does have a long illustrious history, 13% – 14% of Indian passenger traffic and flies to 100 destinations carrying 12 million passengers per year. That is impressive and may be a gold mine in the right hands.
It was originally established in 1932 by Tata, the famous Indian industrialist and entrepreneur, but was nationalized a couple of decades later. Since then Tata group has established another airline (Vistara), which it operates with Singapore airlines, presumably profitably.
This is not the first time that the Indian government has tried to sell off Air India, and the buyers are not aplenty. Some really generous incentives will be needed to attract investors in the present turbulent world financial climate.
NEGATIVE FOR: India if the sale doesn’t go through.
POSITIVE FOR: India if the sale goes through.
IMPACT POTENTIAL: Low to Medium
TIME SCOPE: Short and Medium Term