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South African private hospital group Life Healthcare has said it is not ruling out a return to India after selling the firm’s entire stake in Max Healthcare, in an effort to focus on its operations elsewhere.


The hospital group said on Wednesday it will sell its entire 49.7 percent stake in India’s Max Healthcare to global investment firm KKR & Co. L.P. for 4.3 billion rand ($293 million).

“In the long-term, India is still a very exciting healthcare environment. South Africa is still a strategic focus for us and Europe, given the significant investments we have made there in recent years,” Chief Executive Shrey Viranna told Reuters on Thursday.

“Max was a good investment with a strong management team but it was more about our strategy.”

Max Healthcare has also been grappling with regulatory changes in India over the past year, he said.

Indian authorities proposed capping medical costs at private hospitals in the capital to help millions of people, but the plan would deal a blow to the multi-billion-dollar healthcare sector already grappling with price control policies. [nL3N1T33D8]

In the six-months to the end of March 32, Max Healthcare reported a wider loss of 67 million rand compared with a loss of 12 million in 2017, negatively impacted by the increased regulatory environment and the loss of its licence at Max Shalimar Bagh hospital over a case of medical negligence.


Following the disposal, Life Healthcare wants to focus its attention on its core operations in South Africa, UK, Poland and Western Europe.

The company, whose local competitors include Netcare and Mediclinic has diversified geographically and has also started offering new services.

In 2016 it entered the diagnostic imaging market through the acquisition of UK-based Alliance Medical Group, which also operates in Ireland, Italy, Spain and Northern Europe.

Viranna said the group will continue to make strategic investments in its existing markets, without giving any details.

“We will absolutely look to invest for growth where it makes good financial sense for us. We will look to invest very selectively in our existing geographies as opposed to adding new ones,” he added.
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Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets of the Iranian army fly past during a military parade

U.S. President Donald Trump will fail in his confrontation with Iran, just like Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday, referring to the war between the two Middle Eastern powers and vowing that Tehran will not abandon its missiles.


Tensions have ramped up between Iran and the United States after Trump withdrew from a landmark multilateral nuclear deal in May and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic last month.

As Rouhani spoke, Iran began displaying its naval power in the Gulf during annual parades in the capital Tehran and the port of Bandar Abbas on the Gulf marking the start of the country’s 1980-88 war with Iraq.

Iran has suggested in recent weeks that it could take military action in the Gulf to block other countries’ oil exports in retaliation for U.S. sanctions intended to halt its sales of crude.

Washington maintains a fleet in the Gulf that protects oil shipping routes.


“The same will happen to Trump. America will suffer the same fate as Saddam Hussein,” Rouhani said in a speech carried live by state television.

“Iran will not abandon its defensive weapons … including its missiles that make America so angry,” Rouhani said.

State media said about 600 vessels took part in the Gulf naval drill on Saturday, a day after Iran held aerial exercises in the waterway, vowing that a “pounding reply” awaited the country’s enemies.
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FILE PHOTO: Ahvaz

Several people were killed and up to 20 wounded when unknown gunmen opened fire during a military parade in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz on Saturday, state television reported.


State television said the attack targeted a stand where officials were gathered to watch the annual event, marking the start of the country’s 1980-88 war with Iraq.

Iran was holding similar parades in several cities including the capital Tehran and the port of Bandar Abbas on the Gulf.

“Shooting began by several gunmen from behind the stand during the parade. There are several killed and injured,” a correspondent told state television.

Semi-official news agency Mehr said further shooting broke out as some of the attackers who managed to escape were being chased.


State television blamed “takfiri elements”, a reference to Sunni militants, for the attack. Ahvaz is in the centre of Khuzestan province, which has been the site of sporadic protests by Iran’s Arab minority.

An unnamed spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards blamed Arab nationalists, who he said were backed by Saudi Arabia, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Tensions between traditional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia have surged in recent years, with the two countries supporting opposite sides in wars in Syria and Yemen and rival political parties in Iraq and Lebanon.n’s Arab minority.
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There were plenty of furrowed brows when Maurizio Sarri arrived at Stamford Bridge with minimal fanfare in July, tasked with turning Chelsea back into the Premier League’s top dogs.


Five games into the season and with Chelsea top of the table with five wins the Italian, yet to win any silverware as a coach, has already gone a long way to winning over the sceptics.

The contrast with Manuel Pellegrini, the Chilean hired to turn under-achieving West Ham United into a credible force, could hardly be greater.

Despite Pellegrini spending over $125 million in the transfer window, his first four league games ended in defeats and the natives at the London Stadium were already restless.

He snapped that sequence with his side winning 3-1 at Everton last weekend and now he will target Sarri’s Chelsea as he seeks a first home victory.

While Pellegrini has struggled to assemble his expensive jigsaw together, Sarri has quietly tweaked Chelsea’s style with minimal additions to the squad which served predecessor Antonio Conte well throughout his two seasons in charge.

Of the 11 that started against Cardiff City last weekend, only three were not at Stamford Bridge last season.

While keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and loanee Mateo Kovacic have slotted in well, it is midfield schemer Jorginho, a loyal servant of Sarri’s at Napoli, who has got Chelsea’s engine purring so quickly at the start of another new era.


Sarri is not the first Chelsea manager to win his first five Premier League matches in charge – fellow Italian Carlo Ancelotti also managed it in the 2009-2010 season with his side romping to the title with 103 goals scored.

His perfect start will be fully-tested at West Ham, however, after they appeared to turn a corner at Everton.

West Ham defender Pablo Zabaleta, who won the league title at Manchester City with Pellegrini in 2014, said the Blues can expect a feisty London derby.

“Chelsea have a lot of quality but if we play with the same intensity and concentration as we did against Everton, then who knows? Anything can happen, especially at home,” he said.

“Against Everton, we needed to react. We did and we proved to ourselves we have a chance to win games if we play this way.”

Second-placed Liverpool, the other club to start with five wins, will be confident of making it a six at home to Southampton, especially with confidence at sky high levels after Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Paris St Germain in the Champions League.


Third-placed Manchester City travel to Cardiff City on Saturday while Manchester United seek to maintain their improved Premier League form at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Tottenham Hotspur’s early-season optimism has been buried by three consecutive defeats in all competitions — the first time they have suffered such a run under Mauricio Pochettino.

They will be eager to get back on the rails away to Brighton and Hove Albion.

North London rivals Arsenal, who started the Unai Emery era with two defeats but have now won three in a row, host Everton on Sunday.

Four clubs, Cardiff, Huddersfield Town, Newcastle United and Burnley, are seeking their first wins of the season.

Huddersfield go to Leicester City, Newcastle to Crystal Palace and bottom club Burnley host high-flying Bournemouth.