Tuesday, 20 August, 2019

Singtel raising stake in Bharti Airtel to 39.5%

Singtel raising stake in Bharti Airtel to 39.5% Singtel raising stake in Bharti Airtel to 39.5%
Russell Knight | 08 February, 2018, 01:27

In the note, the agency said despite the additional investment, the incremental cash contribution to Singtel from Bharti is unlikely to be significant as it remains only an associate company for the Singaporean telco.

Shares of Airtel closed at ₹439.50 on the BSE on Monday, up 4.20 per cent from Friday's close. Bharti Enterprises continues to hold over 50 percent stake in Bharti Telecom. Shares of the company rose over 1% on BSE Sensex. In a statement, Bharti Airtel said funds raised from the transaction will be used to trim debt.

The purchase worth as much as 26.5 billion rupees could increase Singtel's stake in Bharti Telecom by up to 1.7 percentage points to 48.9 percent and its holding in Bharti Airtel, the country's biggest mobile carrier, by up to 0.9 percentage points to 39.5 percent.

Analysts at Nomura, however, said prospects for rising profitability of Airtel's Africa operations, adequate spectrum availability in the medium term and the company's plan to sell its stakes in tower assets should pave way for a recovery for Airtel in a few years' time.

The investment comes within 23 months of Singtel's participation in Bharti Telecom's right issue of Rs2,500 crore, which was completed in February 2016.

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"The fresh round of investment highlights the confidence of Singtel in Airtel, and the increased attractiveness of the Indian telecoms sector following the recent consolidation". Its consolidated net debt stood at Rs 91,480 crore in the September quarter.

Bharti Airtel is India's largest telecom provider with over 28 crore subscribers.

Recently, the company had promised a whopping Rs 25,000 crore investment in capital expenditure in FY18. "This will increase Singtel's stake in Bharti Telecom by up to 1.7 per cent for an aggregate consideration of approximately Rs 2,650 crore", Singtel said.

Singtel's subsidiary Singtel International Investments proposes to subscribe to new shares in Bharti Telecom through a preferential allotment worth $555.6m.

The entry of aggressive new operator, Reliance Jio, and its free voice and dirt-cheap data offerings has prompted incumbent telcos like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular to respond, hitting their overall financials and business metrics.

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