Airtel reported a surprise 29 percent surge in March quarter profit on the back of an exceptional income gain and stellar Africa business. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Bharti Telecom Stake In Airtel Comes Down To 41.24%

Bharti Telecom’s stake in Bharti Airtel Ltd. has come down to 41.24 percent following renouncement of 11.34 crore shares by the promoter group firm and the Rs 25,000 crore Airtel rights issue, according to the updated shareholding pattern of the telecom company. The 11.34 crore Airtel shares were valued at Rs 3,920 crore.

Bharti Telecom, which counts Sunil Mittal’s family and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. as shareholders, held 50.1 percent stake with 211.62 shares in Bharti Airtel at the end of March 2019. The shareholding in Airtel dropped to Rs 200.28 crore shares in May.

According to sources, Bharti Telecom renounced shares for the Singapore government and the Monetary Authority of Singapore and foreign-based promoter group firm Indian Continent Investment Ltd. However, the exact number of shares that Bharti Airtel transacted to the entities couldn’t be ascertained.

Singapore sovereign fund GIC PTE Ltd., on behalf of the Government of Singapore and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, made a commitment of Rs 5,000 crore in the Airtel rights issue at the share price of Rs 220 apiece.

The Singapore government entities now jointly have over 24.73 crore shares in Airtel. Based on the stock’s closing price of Rs 345.65 on the BSE on Tuesday, the value of shares allocated to the Singapore government entities now stands at around Rs 8,550 crore—accounting for 4.82 percent stake in the Indian telecom firm.

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“As stated in our letter of offer, the promoter group amongst themselves have subscribed to their aggregate entitlement except to the extent of 227,272,727 shares renounced in favour of GIC Pvt. Ltd. Bharti Telecom Ltd. and Indian Continent Investment are part of the promoter group,” Airtel said in response to emailed queries.

Earlier in May, Bharti Airtel reported a surprise 29 percent surge in March quarter profit. An exceptional income gain and the Airtel Africa business helped offset losses in its India operations.

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The company, whose profitability has taken a beating since the entry of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. in India’s telecom industry, had a net profit of Rs 107.2 crore in January-March as against Rs 82.9 crore a year ago. Its revenue soared 6.2 per cent to Rs 20,602.2 crore for the three months ended Mar. 31, 2019.