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Bharti Airtel shares up on Qatar deal in early trade

10 November, 2017, 10:54 | Author: Nadine Todd
  • BREAKINGVIEWS-Qatar makes timely escape from Indian telecoms

A Qatari shareholder strategizes to sell a 5 percent investment in one of the significant Indian telecoms carrier Bharti Airtel Ltd on Wednesday for almost 95 billion rupees, totting up to the Gulf nation's current stake sales in foreign companies.

The sale price was a 6.4 percent discount to Bharti Airtel's Tuesday closing price, but will still give the Qatari investor a significant return over its 68 billion-rupee investment in the Indian company in May 2013. Going by Bharti Airtel's latest shareholding disclosure on the BSE, Three Pillars plans to offload its entire stake in the company.

Bharti Airtel shares fell nearly 6 per cent as more than 243 million shares changed hands in multiple block deals, according to reports. The sale was effected by Three Pillars Pte, an affiliate of Qatar Foundation Endowment, which sold 19.98 crore shares in Bharti Airtel on the open market sale.

The Gulf countries cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha on 5 June, accusing it of backing terrorism, which Doha denied. "We remain firm supporters of the Bharti Airtel business, the management team and their strategy, and wish them well in the future", said Rashid Al-Naimi, Chief Executive Officer of QFE in a statement. With the shares in an upward spiral, telecom companies have gained Rs 40,300 crore in combined market value. It has also reduced its stake in upscale jeweller Tiffany & Co, Russian energy giant Rosneft and Swiss bank Credit Suisse. The block represented 4.62% of the paid-up share capital of Bharti Airtel. A Bharti Airtel spokesperson declined to comment on the stake sale by the Qatari investor.

The stake sale comes amid disruptive developments in both countries.

On 3 November, Bharti Telecom increased its stake in Bharti Airtel to 50.10% by acquiring 184.70 million shares or 4.62% stake from Indian Continent Investment Ltd at a price of Rs417.35 per share.

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