Singtel to invest Rs 2649 crore in Bharti Telecom

Bharti Telecom will sell shares to Singapore-based telecom operator SingTel International Investments Pte. at Rs 310 per share in a deal worth Rs 2648.9 crore to increase its stake by 1.73% to 48.90%. That compares with Rs 200.71, the price of each Bharti Telecom share based on the value of its stake in Bharti Airtel. Sunil Bharti Mittal-led Bharti Enterprises will continue to hold over 50% stake in Bharti Telecom.

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Bharti Telecom is the holding company with 50.1% stake in Bharti Airtel at the end of 2017. 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, said Bharti Telecom managing director Deven Khanna.

The investment comes within a span of two years of Singtel’s participation in Bharti Telecom’s rights issue of Rs 2500 crore, which was completed in February 2016.

Bharti Telecom’s biggest source of income is dividend paid by Bharti Airtel, besides investments in liquid mutual funds. The carrier has paid Rs 3.84 a share so far in this financial year compared with Rs 1.36 last year. It more than doubled the payout to Rs 750 crore. That compares with operating income of Rs 370 crore and profit after tax of Rs 326 crore in financial year ended March 2017.