Days after announcing a significant $553 million investment from the United States government for its West Container Terminal in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Karan Adani, CEO of Adani Group told reporters Adani Ports is eyeing further “opportunities in our neighboring countries”, Bloomberg reported.
Speaking to reporters in Colombo Adani also said the US financing, backed by the International Development Finance Corporation, is a “reaffirmation” of international support for the Indian conglomerate’s companies.
According to Adani, the neighbouring countries include potential ventures in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Tanzania, besides the existing plans in Sri Lanka and Israel. He added that the ports business accounts for 90 percent of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone‘s revenues, and this trend will continue as the company continues to expand in India.
“Trade is booming, we are just doing a catch-up game. We are always short of capacity and that is hurting Indian trade,” he added.
he financing deal comes as a welcome boost for the Adani Group, which faced challenges, including a short-seller attack and corporate fraud allegations. The investment is not only a strategic move for the Adani Group but also signals Washington’s endorsement of the port project, aimed at countering China’s maritime influence in the crucial Indian Ocean region.
While Adani Ports is India’s largest operator, with a robust domestic business, challenges persist in scaling up overseas operations to match China’s extensive influence in global ports. Despite recent investments and endorsements, the Adani Group faces scrutiny over its business practices, including a resignation by its auditor Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP. The group, however, remains resilient, showing growth capability and financial strength.
Gautam Adani, the billionaire father and owner of the Adani Group, has openly criticized China in the past. However, the focus remains on expanding and strengthening operations in India.
Despite the recent US government loan and investments in Adani’s green energy business, challenges lie ahead, Bloomberg noted. Adani Ports may face difficulties in raising funds for expansion amid tight global markets and high debt costs. The conglomerate, nevertheless, maintains a resilient growth capability, and its businesses continue to attract investors despite reputational risks.
In a changing landscape where China may be reevaluating big bilateral infrastructure deals, there is a potential opportunity for rival firms like Adani to fill the gap. The Adani Group’s expansionary plans reflect a long-term vision, navigating challenges and seeking opportunities in the dynamic world of global infrastructure development.