The Indian Government on grounds of National Security has barred Hong-Kong based Hutchison Port Holdings, the largest independent port operator in the world from bidding for Indian ports.
MUMBAI: After close to a year of intense debate, the Indian government has decided it does not want the Chinese investing in, or managing any Indian port.The first company to bear the brunt of this decision will be Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), the largest independent port operator in the world. The company has been waiting for security clearances before it could go ahead with its bids to build container terminals for Mumbai and Chennai at Rs 1,200 crore and Rs 494 crore respectively. The decision also eliminates future Chinese participation in 13 ports planned across the country at a cost of Rs 61,000 crore.
Hutchison Port Holdings for its own part has denied that it has been banned by India.
A spokesman for Hutchison Port Holdings, Anthony Tam, denied that his company had been barred.”In regards to India, HPH has not been rejected from participating in any port projects in India and we have in fact taken part in previous bids,” Tam said.”HPH is interested in investing in the country. However, we have yet to identify a suitable investment that would meet our investment criteria.”
The Chinese seem to be taking this blow on their chin quite stoically. The People’s daily has been quite restrained in its reporting of the said incident.
This is not the First time that HPH, a part of Hutchison Whampoa owned by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, 78 has ran into rough seas. Investments by Mr. Li, the world’s 10th richest man with a fortune of $18.8-billion (U.S.) according to Forbes magazine, have also generated national security concerns in the United States, in part because of Mr. Li’s ties to China. The rejection by India comes three years after Hutchison was forced to scrap plans to buy Global Crossing Ltd. because of a U.S. national security review according to Bloomberg .
Hutchison Whampoa, the parent company of HPH has already invested heavily in the Indian Mobile network business.Its’ Hutch brand operates mobile phone services in many telecom circles across India.