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Singtel plans another stake sale round in Airtel via block deals

Singtel is planning to divest another round of stake sale in India’s second largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel via another block deal, as per the media reports. Recently, the Singapore-based telecommunication major offloaded 0.8 per cent stake in the company to US-based GQG Partners for Rs 5,849 crore.

According to the report from MoneyControl, the next round could see Singtel, owned by Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, selling shares worth Rs 20,000 crore in one or more block deals. The report citing sources said that Singtel has a plan to equalise its share in the telecom carrier with the promoter Bharti Group, which currently owns 24.57 per cent stake in Airtel.

The GQG deal, which took place in March 2024, brought down the Singaporean telecommunications company’s stake through direct and indirect holdings from 29.8 per cent to 29 per cent, currently worth an estimated S$33 billion. Morgan Stanley is likely to be in the talks as the merchant banker for the deal, which is reported to take place only after June 2024 quarter results.

The quarterly results for the telecom operator is awaited as the Indian Capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has restrictions on share trading by promoters and key managerial people from end of the quarter till 48 hours after publishing the quarterly results.

The next round of share sale by Singtel, majority-owned by Temasaek, the Singapore government’s investment arm, could see it sell a stake worth as much as Rs 20,000 crore in one or more block deals. Singtel has been a strategic investor in Airtel since 2000.

Shares of Bharti Airtel cracked about 2 per cent to Rs 1,424.65 during the trading session Tuesday, with its total market capitalization falling below Rs 8.15 lakh crore mark. The BSE Sensex constituent had settled at Rs 1,453.20 in the previous trading session on Monday. BusinessToday

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