By Aaron Chaze
New Delhi–based IndiGo, India's third largest domestic airline, placed the world's largest single order ever for commercial jetliners.
Flying high: IndiGo places record-breaking aircraft order
IndiGo ordered 180 aircraft with a list price total of $16.4 billion from European manufacturer Airbus. Deliveries of the aircraft are expected beginning in 2016 and will conclude in 2025. This order is the second large order placed with Airbus by the same Indian airline. In 2005 the company ordered 100 Airbus aircraft, the deliveries of which will continue until 2015. The company, which is privately owned, is now eligible to fly on international routes from August 2011. SpiceJet, another Indian domestic airline, has placed orders with Boeing, with deliveries beginning in 2014, taking its fleet size to 58.
India's government is speeding up a regulatory process to enable the Steel Authority of India to float a $1 billion follow-on equity offer before the end of the 2010–11 fiscal year in March. The company has been allowed to skip the intermediate stage of filing a draft prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India and instead to file a final prospectus. The driver of this decision is the government's need to reach its target of raising $9 billion by fiscal year-end from the partial disinvestment of stakes in select state-owned companies. The government has already raised $5 billion through stake sales in 2010–11. It is also in talks to sell a portion of its holding in oil & gas exploration and production company ONGC, from which it expects to raise almost $3 billion.
Wholesale price inflation continues to move up at a rapid pace. In December 2010 annualized inflation rose by a full percentage point, to 8.4%. This pace of growth sets the stage for a further round of interest rate hikes by the India's central bank. Some economists have predicted interest rates will rise by 100 basis points by March 2012. They have voiced concerns that tighter monetary policy might choke off economic growth.