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Bharti Airtel’s Rs 21,000-crore rights issue to open on Oct 5

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel’s around Rs 21,000 crore rights issue will open on October 5, according to a regulatory filing.

The company has fixed September 28 as the record date for rights entitlement in the issue.

The company’s board had on August 29 approved raising up to Rs 21,000 crore by way of rights issue, at a price of Rs 535 per share, including premium of Rs 230.

In the filing, Bharti Airtel said its special committee of directors for the rights issue has approved October 5 as the issue opening date and October 21 as closing date.

The committee has approved September 28 as record date for the purpose of determining the eligible shareholders.

The rights entitlement ratio entails one equity share for every 14 shares held by eligible shareholders as on the record date.

Promoter holding in the company stands at about 55.8 per cent, while the public holds 44.09 per cent.

The mega fundraising is bound to give more firepower to Airtel as the company takes on rivals in the fiercely-competitive Indian telecom market.

Recently, international ratings agency S&P maintained Bharti Airtel’s credit rating at “BBB-“, and upgraded the outlook to stable from negative, indicating the company’s improved financial status and ability to pay back debt.

S&P said Bharti Airtel’s Indian mobile segment is likely to continue growing at a healthy rate, but there is absence of across-the-board tariff hikes.

S&P BBB implies an entity has adequate capacity to meet financial commitments, but more subject to adverse economic conditions.

The net debt of Bharti Airtel at the end of the April-June 2021 quarter was over Rs 1.59 lakh crore. S&P said the momentum in Bharti Airtel’s Indian mobile average revenue per use (ARPU) growth may pick up after slowing in recent quarters.

The telecom sector has further seen improved environment after the government announced a series of reforms to boost the industry, including a four-year moratorium on all dues, option to convert interest on dues to equity, waiver of spectrum usage charges in all future spectrum auction etc. PTI


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