India gets bids for sale of loss-making Air India

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An Air India Airbus A320 plane is seen at the Boryspil International Airport upon arrival, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak outside Kiev, Ukraine May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/File Photo

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NEW DELHI/BENGALURU, Sept 15 (Reuters) - The Indian finance ministry said on Wednesday that the debt-laden state-run airline Air India has received financial bids for its privatisation process.

"Financial bids for Air India disinvestment received by Transaction Adviser," Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, said in a tweet.

"Process now moves to concluding stage," he said.

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The government will soon announce the floor price for the sale of Air India, a senior government source, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.

India's Tata Sons said it had submitted a bid for Air India, while local media reported that SpiceJet also submitted a bid.

SpiceJet and Air India did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has renewed a push to sell its entire interest in the loss-making airline, which has been kept aloft by a bailout since 2012.

The government loses nearly 200 million rupees every day to run the national carrier, which has accumulated losses of over 700 billion rupees ($9.53 billion), officials said.

An effort to auction a majority stake almost three years ago drew no bids, forcing the government to ease terms. It has also extended the deadline multiple times due to COVID-19 and further eased the terms to attract bidders.

($1 = 73.4690 Indian rupees)

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Reporting by Shivani Singh in Bengaluru and Aftab Ahmed in New Delhi; Writing by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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