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Bharti Airtel Delays Q2 Results As It Seeks Clarity On AGR Ruling

Bharti Airtel Ltd. deferred the announcement of its second-quarter result until Nov. 14, saying it has sought more clarity on the recent Supreme Court ruling asking it to pay about Rs 22,000 crore in additional fees related to license.

On Oct. 25, the Supreme Court ruled that India’s telecom operators will have to include non-core revenue to calculate levies, dealing a crippling blow to the bruised industry that stares at dues and penalties worth thousands of crore.

Airtel said it has approached the Department of Telecommunications seeking clarity on the total amounts involved and to request its support to “deal with this adverse outcome”.

According to numbers filed with the court, Bharti Airtel will have to pay up Rs 21,682 crore at a time when its debt has ballooned and profits dipped after Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. upended the nation’s telecom market with rock-bottom tariffs, wiping out smaller rivals and forcing others to merge.

Shares of Bharti Airtel fell as much as 3.7 percent—the most since Oct. 24—to Rs 359.15 apiece. That compares with a 0.19 percent gain in the NSE Nifty 50 Index.―Bloomberg Quint

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