Temasek’s majority stake in Manipal Health, gaming cos seeking clarity, and more foreign tourists

Temasek Holdings’ Rs 16,000-crore deal indicates a major consolidation drive in the healthcare sector; Manipal Health is also set to acquire Emami Group’s AMRI Hospitals

Manipal Hospitals, Temasek Holdings , Manipal Health Enterprises , Gaming companies , Foreign tourists in India, AMRI Hospitals
Manipal Hospitals run 29 hospitals (8,300 beds) across 16 cities in India

The Federal brings you the key economic and business events on Saturday (April 8).

Temasek buys majority stake in Manipal Health

Private equity fund Temasek Holdings has increased its stake in Manipal Health Enterprises, buying 41 per cent more from the promoters and other investors at a total enterprise value of Rs 40,000 crore. This stake sale will take up Temasek’s share to 59 per cent from 18 per cent. Temasek has bought the additional stake at Rs 16,000 crore. The deal is being considered the largest in the healthcare sector in India. Manipal Hospitals run 29 hospitals (8,300 beds) across 16 cities. The founders, Dr Ranjan Pai and his family, will now own 30 per cent compared with 52 per cent earlier.

What it implies: The mega deal indicates a major consolidation drive in the healthcare sector. Manipal Health Enterprises is also set to acquire Emami Group’s AMRI Hospitals, which has 1,100 beds. While the Dr Ranjan Pai-led management will continue to run the hospital chains, analysts say the founders will now focus more on the education sector, as Manipal Education runs six universities, including Manipal University and the Srishti Manipal Institute of Design, Art and Technology.

Also read: ICMR frames first guidelines for AI application in healthcare, research

Gaming companies seek clarity on new norms (source: ET)

Earlier this week, the government issued industry restrictions that prohibit games that include wagering or betting with real money. It plans to create three self-regulatory organisations (SROs) that would approve games that adhere to the country’s operating guidelines. According to the new IT regulations, gaming platforms shall not offer, publish, or share online games that include dangerous or prohibited information. In addition, they will be required to confirm the identification of online gamers. The move is intended to prevent self-harm or psychological injury caused by online gaming. The gaming companies are planning to ask the Centre whether the rules will apply to individual states too.

What it implies: State governments have their norms for regulating the gaming industry. For example, the Karnataka government banned all online gaming. Later, the High Court struck down the provisions of the law prohibiting betting on and playing games of skills, including online games. Like the liquor policy, which is governed by the states rather than the Centre, the gaming industry is also viewed by the states as a poll issue and they have tried to bring several legislations against online gaming. The Indian gaming industry is worth $2.8 billion and is expected to grow to $5 billion in 2025, growing at a CAGR of 28 to 30 per cent. Gamers are expected to grow from 420 million to around 500 million by 2025. Hence, the stakes are incredibly high, as the government collects a 30 per cent tax on winnings as TDS.

Also read: New online gaming rules will help industry compete globally, curb betting, say players

Foreign tourist arrivals rise by 300%

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Minister for Culture and Tourism G Kishan Reddy said foreign tourist arrivals have increased from 1.52 million in 2021 to 6.19 million in 2022. However, these are far lower than the pre-COVID figures. In 2019, foreign tourist arrivals were at 10.93 million.

What it implies: It will take a couple of years before foreign tourist arrivals can touch the pre-COVID numbers. Right now, most foreign tourists are those who are visiting families back in India. In 2019, India earned about $30 billion in foreign exchange from tourists visiting India, but that number dropped in 2022. Since tourism is a major foreign exchange earner, industry analysts want the government to aggressively market tourism in foreign countries and focus on robust infrastructure around tourist places.