Hutchison cleared to make $260 m bid in Mumbai Port

Jan 4 | Updated: Jan 5 2006, 05:36am hrs
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has overruled defence officials concern over Chinese companies that want to invest in the countrys shipping industry, clearing the way for Hutchison Whampoa Ltd to submit a $260 million plan to build container terminals in Mumbai.

Hutchison and other Chinese companies can bid for Indias port projects, the PMO told Bloomberg on Wednesday. Anthony Tam, spokesman of Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd, a unit of Hong Kong-based Hutchison, said the company has never received any communications about any restrictions.

We are not aware of any restrictions being placed on our possible port investments in India, Tam said . However, he declined to say if Hutchison will submit bids for Indias ports.

The clearance for Hutchison is a sign of improving relations between the worlds two most populous countries. China and India are marking 2006 as their friendship year.

Hutchison, the worlds largest manager of container terminals and controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, operates 242 container berths in 41 ports around the world and last year expanded to Spain, Egypt and Oman.

The government needs to spend around $22 billion in the next six years on improving maritime facilities in the nation to meet growth in Asias fourth-biggest economy, shipping minister TR Baalu said on December 30.

Enter The Dragon

PMO says Hutchison and other Chinese companies can bid for Indias port projects
Meanwhile,Hutchison Port Holdings says it has never received any communications about any restrictions on their investment in India
The govt needs to spend around $22 bn in the next six years to improve maritime facilities

Bloomberg