A ministerial panel has cleared proposal for strategic sale of Air India's ground handling subsidiary Air India Air Transport Services (AIATSL), according to an official. The approval comes amid the government working on ways to revive the fortunes of Air India, estimated to have debt burden of over Rs 50,000 Crore, including sale of non-core assets. Proceeds from the sale would be used to pay-off a part of AI's mammoth-sized debt. The official said the sale would be carried out after transferring AIATSL to an SPV, which has been incorporated. The EoI document would be issued after transfer of AIATSL to the SPV. In 2016-17, AIATSL raked in a profit of Rs 61.6 Crore. AIATSL was incorporated in 2003 to carry out the business of providing all types of services at airports.
IFC invests a record $2.6 bn in India in FY18
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has invested a record $2.6 billion in India in 2017-18. In a release, the arm of the World Bank said, “IFC invested a record $2.6 billion in India in FY2018- a rise of 136 per cent over the figure two years ago, in the key priority areas of infrastructure, logistics, inclusion, and sustainability.” The investments are all long-term, made over 40 engagements with partners ranging from new-age startups, like Coverfox and Bizongo, to established names such as Mahindra & Mahindra and HDFC.
Anil Ambani group issues 26 lawsuits against politicians and media
Companies under businessman Anil Ambani have launched 26 lawsuits against politicians, journalists and news organisations. On of Asia's wealthiest tycoons, his group has faced steady criticism from opposition politicians and the media over India's purchase of Rafale fighter jets from France's Dassault. Many of the lawsuits, all filed in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, relate to coverage of the fighter jet deal. The suits include a defamation claim seeking $1.4 billion against mainstream media agency, NDTV. In response, it has called the move “an unsophisticated warning to the media to stop doing its job.” Other lawsuits relate to reports on the financial position of Ambani's businesses, particularly the troubled telecom group Reliance Communications. RCom had last December, agreed to sell most of its core telecom assets to rival Jio, owned by Ambani's elder brother Mukesh. RCom currently claims $1.1 billion in damages from the Financial Times over a report on the deal. It has also filed three lawsuits against Bloomberg News and several of its employees. Ahmedabad is a popular venue for defamation cases. Its courts cap fees at about $1,000, regardless of the amounts being claimed.