Mohan Padmanabhan

Kolkata, Dec. 22

SREI Capital Markets Ltd (SCML), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd, has signed an agreement with the Australia-headquartered Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation Pty Ltd (CAPA) for extending advisory services to the Indian aviation sector.

The MoU was signed on SCML's behalf by Mr Ashok Pareek, CEO of the Indian company, and for CAPA by Mr Kapil Kaul, CEO, Indian Sub-Continent and Middle-East.

Mr Hemant Kanoria, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Srei Infrastructure Finance, told Business Line that both Srei Capital and CAPA would jointly pitch for consultancy projects pertaining to airport- and airline-related services.

Pointing out that the agreement formally marked the entry of Srei Infrastructure and its group companies into aviation related services, Mr Kanoria said both companies would complement each other's skills and expertise to provide infrastructure advisory services to the Indian aviation sector.

While not in a position to quantify the exact size of the business, he said the figure could be substantial, considering the recent Open Skies agreement with the US and general opening up of the aviation sector starting with privatisation of airport construction.

He said SCML will render expertise in the areas of financial engineering, transaction structuring and re-structuring, privatisation, investment analysis and risk management, raising of resources through floatation in the domestic and/or overseas and arrange for debt and equity funding.

CAPA, Mr Kanoria clarified, will come in with consultancy in the areas of airline start-up planning and management, airport marketing and development strategies, passenger and freight traffic forecasting, route analysis, tourism development policy strategies, government policy and regulatory analysis.

On the special significance of the agreement, he said it was the first of its kind in India between a merchant banker (SCML) operating in the Indian private sector and an Australian specialist in aviation consulting with global operations. While servicing the clients for airline services, we will draw on CAPA's international experience, he pointed out.

He said the SCML-CAPA combine will provide end-to-end solutions to clients mainly in airlines start-up, transaction structuring, raising of resources and related advisory services.

According to him, the aviation industry was now emerging as a key sector in the growth dynamics of the Indian economy, and "the low-cost airline concept is re-defining transportation and logistics services".

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 23, 2005)
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