NACIL IPO expected in 2008

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New Delhi, Oct 16 (UNI) The government's move to dilute 10-15 per cent stake in the National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL), the state-owned entity which has been formed with the merger of Air India and Indian, is expected to take place in 2008.

Government plans to dilute 10-15 per cent stake through an initial public offering (IPO) in 2008 to fund expansion and take on competition from private airlines.

''There will surely be an IPO and ESOP to the existing employees and we are waiting for the merger process of NACIL to settle down which is expected to take another six months,'' Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.

However, the exact mode of equity dilution and the valuation have not been done yet, he added.

Mr Patel also said an empowered group of ministers examining the draft civil aviation policy will meet in a weeks time and is expected to reach a conclusion on the rules governing qualifications to fly overseas. He also said that the number of applications for regional flights have been very encouraging.

At present only airlines with five years of domestic service is allowed to fly overseas and that qualifies only Air India and Jet to fly abroad. Newer private airlines want this rule to be relaxed.

Furthermore, the limit on foreign direct investment (FDI) is also likely to be increased in select segments.

The new FDI proposal to the seeks 100 per cent FDI in helicopter operations, seaplane companies, pilot training and maintenance, repair&overhaul (MRO) facilities.

''We presently allow 49 per cent FDI in certain areas and we are looking to raise it to 75 per cent in certain cases and to even 100 per cent in cases,'' said Mr Patel.

UNI

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