Singtel boosts Bharti Telecom holding

singtel-logoSingaporean incumbent operator Singtel is to up its stake in India’s Bharti Telecom to 39.78 per cent, taking its effective interest in Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile operator, to 32.34 per cent. Singtel will pay S$383.6m for 788,538 Bharti Telecom shares at INR23,578.45/share, the firm said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange, a total investment in the region of S$381.8m.

Airtel leads the Indian mobile market with 190.91 million subscriptions at end June 2013, according to Informa’s WCIS+. Informa forecasts that the Indian market will surpass one billion subscriptions during 2015.

Earlier in the week Singtel reported net profits for the first financial quarter of 2013 of S$1.01bn, up seven per cent year on year, despite operating revenues for the group, which includes Australian operator Optus, dropping by five per cent to S$4.29bn.

Bharti also has substantial African operations, acquired from Zain in 2010. Informa puts Singtel’s total proportionate subscriber base at 167.8 million.

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