DoT approves 100% FDI limit in Bharti Airtel

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 22, 2020

FPIs, FIIs can now hold 74% of telco’s paid-up capital

      The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has approved a 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) limit for Bharti Airtel, the company announced after market hours on Tuesday. Earlier, the limit was 49 per cent.

      “Bharti Airtel has received approval from the Department of Telecommunications vide its letter dated January 20, 2020, for increasing the limit of foreign investment up to 100 per cent of the paid-up capital,” the telecom company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

      “Subject to applicable laws, the aforesaid approval, read together with the RBI approval dated July 3, 2014 granted to the company, allows FPls (Foreign Portfolio Investors)/Flls (Foreign Institutional Investors) to invest in up to 74 per cent of the paid-up capital,” Bharti Airtel said in the statement, as quoted by an Economic Times report.

      Promoter holding

      The decision comes in the light of the decline in promoter and promoter group holding in Airtel to 58.98 per cent from 62.70 per cent, after the company raised $2 billion through a private placement of shares to investors including Citigroup, GIC, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, Schroder, Warburg Pincus and Segantii Capita, reports say.

      Currently, following the share placement, foreign ownership in Bharti Airtel is 44.28 per cent.

      Overseas funding

      According to an ET report, the telecom company is seeking the government’s approval to raise ₹4,900 crore from SingTel and other overseas entities.

      Bharti Airtel has pending dues of more than ₹35,000 crore to be paid to the government before a January 23 deadline, out of which more than ₹21,000 crore is in licence fees and the balance ₹13,904.01 crore is in spectrum dues.

      Published on January 22, 2020

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