Bharti Airtel trades firm as stock turns ex-date for rights issue

Bharti Airtel shares were quoting firm, up 1 per cent, at Rs 325 on the BSE in early morning deal as the stock turns ex-date for rights issue today (on Tuesday).

On February 28, Bharti Airtel had announced rights issue to raise up to Rs 25,000 crore through issuance of fully paid up shares and an additional Rs 7,000 crore via foreign currency perpetual bond issue. The rights issue will be raised in the ratio of 19:67 (i.e., 19 shares for every 67 shares held) at a price of Rs 220 per share.

The Committee at its meeting held on April 10, had fixed April 24 as the record date for the purpose of determining the shareholders eligible to apply for the equity shares in the rights issue.

The issue will open on May 3 and close on May 17.

The telecom services provider had said the capital infusion would help it continue investments in future rollouts to build large network capacity and create content and technology partnerships to ensure strong customer experience.

Meanwhile, analysts at Edelweiss Securities expect Bharti's India mobile business revenues to improve by 1.5 per cent quarter on quarter (QoQ) on account of full impact of minimum ARPU plans for low-end customers.

“We believe that weeding of bulk of the subscriber base is behind and we will see meagre 3.5 million subscriber decline in this quarter (48.5 million in Q3FY19). Full impact of subscriber rationalisation will also result in sharp jump in ARPU (Rs 120 versus Rs 104 for Q3FY19),” the brokerage firm said in March 2019 quarterly preview.

(Bharti Airtel's) Africa business is expected to remain flat QoQ. Consolidated EBITDA margin expected to marginally improve by 60bps QoQ on account of higher revenue from India business and lower energy cost in India business. Capex guidance for FY20, mobile broadband subscriber addition, timeline for rights issue and Africa IPO, and other balance sheet deleveraging plans will be the key things to watch, the brokerage firm said.

In past two months, the stock of Bharti Airtel had outperformed the market by surging 12 per cent, as compared to 8 per cent rise in the S&P BSE Sensex till Monday.

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