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Tata and Bharti may combine consumer telecom business

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New Delhi, Oct 12 : Bharti Airtel and Tata on Thursday announced that they have entered into an understanding to merge Consumer Mobile Businesses (CMB) of Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Limited (TTML) into Bharti Airtel.

The acquisition is subject to requisite regulatory approvals, the statement said without revealing the acquisition amount.

The merger is being done on a debt-free cash-free basis, except for Bharti Airtel assuming a small portion of the unpaid spectrum liability of Tata’s towards DoT, which is to be paid on deferred basis, the joint-statement added.

As part of the agreement, Bharti Airtel will absorb Consumer Mobile Businesses (CMB) of TTSL and TTML across the country in 19 circles (17 under TTSL and two under TTML).

“This is a significant development towards further consolidation in the Indian mobile industry and reinforces our commitment to lead India’s digital revolution by offering world-class and affordable telecom services through a robust technology and solid spectrum portfolio,” said Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal.

“On completion, the proposed acquisition will undergo seamless integration, both on the customer as well as the network side, and further strengthen our market position in several key circles. The customers of Tata will be able to enjoy India’s widest and fastest voice & data network, and bouquet of Airtel’s best-in-class products and services,” he said.

“The acquisition of additional spectrum made an attractive business proposition. It will further strengthen our already solid portfolio and create substantial long term value for our shareholders given the significant synergies,” Mittal added.

The Bharti Board, which met on Thursday afternoon, has approved this transaction. The Boards of Tata Sons, TTSL and TTML, too, have given their approval.

According to earlier reports, TTSL has seen its net worth fall by over Rs 11,600 crore in FY17, and losses increase from Rs 2,409 crore to Rs 4,617 crore year-on-year. Revenues, meanwhile were down 10 per cent to under Rs 10,000 crore.

“We believe today’s agreement is the best and most optimal solution for the Tata Group and its stakeholders. Finding the right home for our longstanding customers and our employees has been the priority for us. We have evaluated multiple options and are pleased to have this agreement with Bharti,” said N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons.

Goldman Sachs (India) Securities Private Limited is financial advisor to Tata.

The transaction will also provide Bharti Airtel with an indefeasible right to use (IRU) part of the existing fibre network of Tata.

Tata is also in initial stages of exploring combination of its Enterprise Business with Tata Communications and its Retail Fixed Line and Broadband business with Tata Sky. Any such transaction will be subject to respective boards and other requisite approvals, the statement added.

Tata will retain its stake in Viom, and will take care of the liabilities associated with it.

The proposed merger will include transfer of all the customers and assets of Tata CMB to Bharti Airtel, further aug’enting Bharti Airtel’s overall customer base and network. It will also enable Bharti Airtel to add 178.5 MHz spectrum (of which 71.3 MHz is liberalised) in the 850, 1800 an” 2100 MHz bands.

“This merger is pretty much in line with industry expectations. According to speculations, TTSL either needed to exit the industry or being merged with another entity. It is a w”n-win deal for both,” Rajan S Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) told IANS.

Bharti Airtel will get additional 40 million customers out of this deal.

“This deal will bring in more stability for Airtel. It will gain additional customers and also spectrum,” he added.

Mathews indicated that with this deal three big telecom players have emerged in the industry – Airtel-TTSL, Vodafone-Idea and Reliance Jio.

“While the fate of employees is not clear, the consideration that manpower planning will be done based on business lines is good. Tata Group has the appetite to absorb some employees in Tata Communication, Tata Sky and their other operating companies too. And possibly, they will enable the rest to move to other opportunities,” said Amresh Nandan, Research Director, Gartner.

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Key Indian equity indices open flat

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SENSEX-

Mumbai, June 18: The key Indian equity indices on Monday opened on a flat note.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), was trading 17.56 points or 0.05 per cent lower soon after opening.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was also trading 7.60 points or 0.07 per cent lower at 10,810.10 points.

The Sensex of the BSE, which opened atA35,698.43 points, was trading at 35,604.58 points (at 9.19 a.m.), lower 17.56 points or 0.05 per cent from the previous day’s close at 35,622.14 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 35,721.55 points and a low of 35,585.73 points in the trade so far.

IANS

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Market Review: Higher industrial output, Kim-Trump meet lift equity indices

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Sensex Nifty Equity

Mumbai, June 16: Healthy industrial production data and an encouraging geo-political scenario aided the key Indian equity indices to rise for the fourth consecutive week.

The gains in the week ended Friday, however, were limited by a number of global factors including the interest rate hike in the US, and US President Donald Trump’s approval to tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese exports.

Additionally, domestic factors such as a rise in retail and wholesale inflation also arrested the gains.

Index-wise, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE rose by 178.47 points or 0.50 per cent to close at 35,622.14 points on a weekly basis.

The wider Nifty50 of the NSE closed the week’s trade at 10,817.70 points — up 50.05 points or 0.46 per cent — from its previous close.

According to analysts, market breadth was positive in only two of the five trading sessions.

“Markets ended the week with modest gains after a sharp bounce back from the lows of 10,755 points (Nifty50),” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.

Hem Securities’ Director Prateek Jain said: “Last week indices extended their winning streak to the fourth consecutive week. The upswing was seen despite retail inflation rising to 4.9 per cent for the month of May compared to the previous month.”

According to Rahul Sharma, Senior Research Analyst at Equity99, “It was an eventful week on the global front too, with US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signing a joint agreement for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.”

“Further, the Fed (US Federal Reserve) has again done what it was expected to do as it raised benchmark interest rates hinting at a little more aggression in tightening monetary policy this year,” Sharma said.

“Another event, which kept investors sentiments on the toe was reports that President Donald Trump’s administration has cleared tariffs on tens of billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese goods”

On the currency front, the rupee closed at 68.02 against the US dollar depreciating by 51 paise from its previous week’s close of 67.51 per greenback.

In terms of investments, provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 5,294 crore, while the domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 4,014.25 crore during the week.

Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) revealed that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) divested equities worth Rs 3,071.85 crore, or $455.4 million, in the week ended on June 15.

Sectorally, the top gainers were the pharma, IT, energy and PSU bank indices and the top losers were metal, infrastructure and realty indices, Jasani told IANS.

The top weekly Sensex gainers were Dr Reddy’s Lab (up 13.97 per cent at Rs 2,351.10); Sun Pharma (up 8.11 per cent at Rs 571.05); Tata Consultancy Services (up 5.33 per cent at Rs 1,841.45); IndusInd Bank (up 4.01 per cent at Rs 1,965.85); and Reliance Industries (up 3.10 per cent at Rs 1,013.85 per share).

The major losers were Tata Steel (down 5.60 per cent at Rs 565.95); ONGC (down 4.64 per cent at Rs 165.45); Coal India (down 3.74 per cent at Rs 279.05); NTPC (down 3.40 per cent at Rs 156.05); and Tata Motors (DVR) (down 3.30 per cent at Rs 180.05 per share).

IANS

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Despite overflowing godowns, Modi Govt allows pulses import

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Pulse price rise

New Delhi, June 16: Despite overflowing godowns, the central government has allotted quotas for import of pulses and is enforcing an additional import agreement with Mozambique.

The development comes at a time when domestic stocks are at their peak, domestic production is expected to be high and prices are reducing.

According to the Hindu report, Farmers and millers are unhappy with the situation, but the government says it is balancing the needs of Indian consumers and commitments to foreign trade partners on the one hand and the interests of Indian peasants on the other.

On the related note, the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) held a meeting on Monday, during which the final allocations of import quotas — totalling two lakh tonnes of tur or arhar dal, and 1.5 lakh tonnes each of moong and urad — were made.

Those amounts show a quantitative restriction that was imposed on pulses imports in August last year in response to a glut in domestic supply and decreasing prices, which continues this year.

“The government has stock, traders have stock, millers have stock, and farmers have stock, so there is a surplus. We don’t understand why the government is insisting on import…we may be able to meet only 40-50% of our quotas”. A senior official at the DGFT insisted that according to the terms of the allocation, import quotas must be met by August end.

As a good monsoon forecast is expected, the Agriculture Commissioner predicts domestic pulses production of 24 million tonnes in 2018-19.

However, earlier in May,  the DGFT issued a notice exempting pulses imports from Mozambique from the restrictions.

WeForNews

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