Watching AI stake sale process, may get involved at later stage: IFC

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 16 Apr 2018 12:09:26




AS THE Government awaits expression of interest for Air India stake sale, International Finance Corp (IFC) has said it is “watching the process closely and may get involved at a later stage”. IFC, part of the World Bank Group, made it clear that it is currently not involved in the Air India disinvestment process. The Government has came out with a detailed preliminary information memorandum, detailing plans to offload up to 76 per cent stake in debt-laden Air India and transfer the management control to private players. However, the ambitious stake sale of Air India as well as its two subsidiaries seem to be hitting air pockets with two potential bidders -- IndiGo and Jet Airways -- deciding to keep away citing the contours of the process.

While reports have mentioned that various entities, including quite a few global airlines, are interested in Air India disinvestment, there has been no official word about any particular entity. At present, IFC is not involved in the Air India disinvestment process, a spokesperson
said, adding that normally it does not join the fray during the bidding phase.“However, we are committed to bridging development gaps in India and financing transport and logistics is one of our top strategic priorities, as it is for the country. “Therefore, we are watching the Air India process closely and may get involved at a later stage. Once the winning bidder is chosen, we will evaluate the situation to see if we have a role to play,” the IFC spokesperson told PTI in an e-mailed statement.The response came to a query on whether IFC would be interested in the disinvestment process. A global development institution, IFC is focused on the private sector in emerging markets. When asked whether Lufthansa would be interested in participating in the disinvestment process, the German airline said, “your assumption is based on market speculation” and that it does not comment on speculation.