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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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Post-2014, India ‘richer’ by 601 new billionaires, Mukesh Ambani on top

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Mumbai, Sep 25 : India added a whopping 601 new billionaires since 2014, with Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani topping the ‘Barclays Hurun India Rich List-2018’ for the seventh consecutive year with an estimated wealth of Rs 371,000 crore.

As per the report, in 2014, there were 230 billionaires or multi-billionaires, which shot up to 831 in the 2018 in the BHI Rich List.

Earlier, in 2012, the figure was a modest 59 billionaires, which climbed to 141 in 2013. But after notching 230 billionaires in 2014, the list has grown phenomenally with 296 (2015), 339 (2016), 617 (2017) and now 831 billionaires in 2018.

Similarly, the number of USD billionaires in India in the past seven years at the prevailing exchange rates has shot up from 59 (2012) to 141 (2018) as the USD’s value grew from INR 55.60 to INR 68.40 during the period.

Among women, there was only one self-made billionaire in 2013, which increased to 11 in 2018. Women multi-billionaires shot up from just five in 2013 to 136 this year.

The cumulative wealth of these 831 individuals featured in the latest list stands at USD 719 billion, or one-quarter of the Indian GDP of USD 2,848 billion as per the IMF’s April 2018 estimates.

After Ambani, next comes S.P. Hinduja and family of Hinduja Group with estimated wealth of Rs 159,000 crore, Arcelor-Mittal’s L.N. Mittal and family at Rs 114,500 crore in the top bracket.

Following them are: Wipro’s Azim Premji at Rs 96,100 crore, Sun Pharmaceuticals Ltd’s Dilip Shanghvi at Rs 89,700 crore, Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Uday Kotak at Rs 78,600 crore, Serum Institute of India’s Cyrus Poonawalla at Rs 73,000 crore, Adani Group’s Gautam Adani and family at Rs 71,200 crore, Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry’s Cyrus P. Mistry at Rs 69,400 crore,

Five of the Top 10 belong to Maharashtra, one each from Gujarat and Karnataka, two are London-based and one is in Monaco, as per the rich list.

As expected, the country’s commercial capital Mumbai tops the billionaires’ list with 233 names, followed by New Delhi at 163 and IT capital Bengaluru at 70, said Barclays Private Clients CEO S.N. Bansal.

The annual list is a compilation of the super-richest Indians having a net worth of Rs 1,000 crore or more. This number has increased by a staggering one-third – from 617 in 2017 to 831 in 2018, said Hurun Report India’s Managing Director Rahman Junaid.

While 306 new entrants made it to the list this year, 75 of those featured in 2017 failed to find a place in the super exclusive club this year.

“The Indian edition of the list is the fastest growing rich list in the world, highlighting the optimism of a young, vibrant and ambitious country,” Junaid pointed out.

As far as top wealthy business clans are concerned, more than 50 percent of the businesses listed in the 2018 rich list belong to just 10 Indian families – Ambani, Godrej, Hinduja, Mistry, Shanghvi, Nadar, Adani, Damani, Lohia and Burman.

Four of these family-run businesses are in the first-generation and second generation, one is in third generation and one in fifth generation of operations.

“Wealth creation in India is growing at an unprecedented pace, and the time it takes to accumulate wealth is shorter than before,” said Bansal at the report launch.

IANS

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Rupee extends losses, nears 73 against Dollar

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New Delhi, Sep 25: The Indian rupee slipped in the early trade on Tuesday. It weakened by 33 paise to 72.82 against the US dollar. 

The rupee closed at 72.63 against the greenback on Monday.

The key Indian equity indices opened on a negative note today, owing to a weak rupee and rising crude oil prices.

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Key equity indices open in red

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Mumbai, Sep 25: The key Indian equity indices opened on a negative note on Tuesday, owing to a weak rupee and rising crude oil prices.

At 9.30 a.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange traded at 10,918.85 points, lower by 48.55 points or 0.44 per cent from its previous close.

The BSE Sensex which had opened at 36,350.25 points, traded at 36,183.86 points, lower by 121.16 points or 0.33 per cent from its previous close of 36,305.02 points.

So far, it has touched an intra-day high of 36,454.03 points and a low 36,180.16 points.

IANS

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