China suspends Ant Group listing, Manipal Hospitals aims for US chain, Future-Amazon fight continues

The government extended till February 24 a cap of 60% on airline capacity, disappointing industry executives who want to run more flights. Manipal Hospitals will acquire US-based Columbia Asia Hospitals for around Rs 2,100 crore. The holding company of billionaire Gautam Adani’s group announced a Rs 50,000-crore capital expenditure plan to fund its businesses. China suspended Ant Group’s $37 billion listing, thwarting the world’s largest stock market debut. Here is more on what made news this week.

Business Standard
7th November

  • China suspended Ant Group’s $37 billion listing, thwarting the world’s largest stock market debut with just days to go in a dramatic blow to the financial technology firm founded by billionaire Jack Ma. The Shanghai stock exchange said it had suspended the company’s initial public offering on its tech-focused STAR Market, prompting Ant to also freeze the Hong Kong leg.
  • Adani Enterprises, the holding company of billionaire Gautam Adani’s group, has a Rs 50,000-crore capital expenditure plan to fund its businesses over the next five years. Of this amount, Rs 35,000 crore will be spent on the airports business and the rest on the group's other interests, including roads and data centres.
  • The government extended till February 24 a cap of 60% on airline capacity, disappointing industry executives who want to run more flights during the festival season. The cap was extended because smaller airports are unable to handle more flights due to Covid-19 protocols increasing turnaround time. It is likely to delay airlines' recovery, said experts.
  • India's Manipal Hospitals will acquire US-based Columbia Asia Hospitals for around Rs 2,100 crore, Business Standard reported. The combined business will have 27 hospitals in 15 cities and it's likely to mark the exit of the American hospital chain from India. Manipal Health Enterprises, a privately held entity, will fund the acquisition through a mix of debt (about 50 per cent) and a rights issue amongst its investors.
  • Future Retail asked stock exchanges to process its application for the merger and acquisition of its retail assets by Reliance Industries, reacting to Amazon.com Inc's complaint to the market regulator. Amazon is locked in a legal dispute with Future Group, which in August sold its retail assets to Reliance for $3.4 billion. The deal, Amazon alleges, breaches 2019 agreements by Future.
  • Indian employees are likely to witness their monthly paycheck getting a bigger boost next year compared to 2020 as companies are betting on higher consumer demand due to enhanced government spending and bumper rainfall to neutralise the pandemic-led economic contraction, a survey showed. Companies are projected to increase compensation by an average 7.3% in 2021 compared to 6.1%--lowest since 2009--this year, Aon said.
  • India’s factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in over a decade in October as demand and output continued to recover strongly from coronavirus-related disruptions, a private survey showed. The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 58.9 in October from September’s 56.8. The reading was the highest since May 2010 and above the 50-level separating growth from contraction for the third straight month.

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A few links for further reading

Hard path to growth

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Small savings scheme

Investors breathed a sigh of relief when the government announced that interest rates on these instruments would not be revised for the fourth quarter of the calendar year.

Invest and emigrate

The great Indian dream of settling abroad is achievable if one has a few crores to invest. Rich nations offer a variety of investment options in a quid pro quo arrangement: immigrants get a better quality of life and revenue from them helps these countries’ finances. Wealthy Indians, troubled by polluted cities and the red tape holding up entrepreneurship, may want a quick ticket out of the country. Sanjay Kumar Singh lists a range of options: from a Canadian province’s investor programme to America’s US EB-5 plan.

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