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Vodafone-Idea on loan from SBI: No development which requires disclosure

Telecom operator Vodafone-Idea clarified on Monday that there has been no development on a loan from the state-lender State Bank of India which would require any disclosure under listing regulations. The company was responding to a recent report claiming that Vodafone PLC’s India unit was conducting talks with the private lender seeking fresh loans.

“As of now, there is no development, which would require disclosure under the SEBI Listing Regulations. The Company shall comply with its obligations under the SEBI Listing Regulations as and when any such requirement is triggered,” Vodafone-Idea clarified in a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

However, the telecom operator informed that the company keeps discussing funding and other requirements with various banks in the ordinary course of its business. It added that the list of banks also includes the State Bank of India which is among its main bankers.

The telecom operator had reported a net loss of Rs 7,132.3 crore in the second quarter of the current financial year compared to a loss of Rs 7,218.2 crore record in the comparable period last year. On a sequential basis, the company narrowed its net loss from Rs 7,319 crore in the first quarter in the current financial year.

On a year-over-year basis, its revenue fell 12.8 per cent to Rs 9,406.4 in the second quarter. On a sequential basis, it rose approx 2.8 per cent from Rs 9,152.3 crore.

On September 15, the Union Cabinet had approved a string of reforms to bail out the struggling telecom sector. The reforms announced included a four-year moratorium on payment of statutory dues by telecom companies (telcos) and permitting 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the telecom sector with safeguards. Telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnav had said that the Cabinet is rationalising aggregated gross revenue (AGR) definition, excluding non-telecom revenue of telcos from payment of statutory levies. AGR refers to revenues that are considered for payment of statutory dues.

As part of the relief package, the telcos were also given the option of converting the interest due on their spectrum amounting to the four-year moratorium, to government equity.

On October 29, Vodafone-Idea opted to avail the option for deferment of adjusted gross revenue for a period of four years.

They added that the other option by the Department of Telecom would be considered within the stipulated timeframe. Outlook

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