Chinese firms eyeing acquisitions in India

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on January 14, 2012

HNA Group keen on buying Thomas Cook's India operations, Aman Resorts

For the second time in less than a month, a Chinese company has hit the headlines in relation to a potential investment in an Indian company, signalling the growing interest in India among Chinese businesses.

Chinese airline and hospitality player HNA Group is reportedly keen on buying the India operations of travel services major Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.

Although Thomas Cook has denied media reports to the effect, industry sources said HNA is scouting for India buys in the travel and hospitality space.

It is also one of the bidders for Aman Resorts, a luxury property which was put on the block by DLF Ltd.

There have also been reports that the Hong Kong-based Bravia Capital may have infused some funds into the cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines. Bravia already has a joint venture in India with IL&FS.

Flush with funds

The Chinese private sector's growing interest in India comes at a time when Governments from the two countries have agreed to stay committed to deepening investments. Official sources told Business Line that the next step in India-China relations is to encourage Chinese firms to invest here. Mr Avinash Gupta, Leader Financial Advisory, Deloitte, says: “The Chinese are flush with funds which are in excess of $2 trillion. If they get an asset at the right price why should they not pick it up? Besides, Chinese corporates are among the few to get credit relatively easily from their banks. They can also provide incremental debt funding if required.”

Meanwhile, China expert and founder Chairman, Manas Advisory, Mr Ravi Bhootalingam, told Business Line that a Chinese firm looking at investing in a travel company in India made sense.

“The Chinese are huge travellers. Besides they have good airlines. Worldwide, the Chinese have invested in various sectors and not only in traditional sectors like infrastructure,” he said.

However, analysts feel that while Chinese companies will find it easy to enter the B2B sectors such as telecommunications equipment, they might face a problem entering the B2C sectors such as mobile service providers.

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Published on January 14, 2012
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