Voda Idea, Bharti Airtel fall, PSUs mixed post SC observations on AGR issue

For telecom companies, the apex court sais that they are directed to file reply on roadmap of payment, time to be allowed and securities.
Shares of leading telecom players, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, slipped up to 13 per cent on Thursday while those of public sector undertakings (PSUs) such as Power Grid Corporation of India, Oil India, Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers & Chemicals (GNFC) ended in the green post the Supreme Court's (SC) observations on the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) issue.

Shares of Vodafone Idea slipped 13 per cent to Rs 9.39, falling 18 per cent from its intra-day high of Rs 11.44 on the BSE on heavy volumes. The trading volumes on the counter jumped nearly two-fold with a combined 2,445 million equity shares changing hands on the NSE and BSE.

Bharti Airtel, on the other hand, was down 3 per cent at Rs 552, after hitting a high of Rs 574 on the BSE post SC order. The S&P BSE Telecom index, the top loser among sectoral indices, lost 4 per cent at 1,270 points, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was closed 709 points, or 2 per cent, lower at 33,538 levels today.

Select PSUs gain

Meanwhile, shares of select public sector undertaking (PSU) companies Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers & Chemicals, Oil India and Gail (India) were up between 5 per cent and 6 per cent on the BSE in the intra-day trade after the apex court asked department of telecommunications (DoT) to withdraw its demands of payments from these companies. Gail (India) closed nearly 3 per cent lower at Rs 95.50, while the remaining three stocks ended in the green. 

These PSUs had been asked to pay their licence fee and spectrum usage charge dues, not only on telecom-related revenues but on total revenues as per the October 24 Supreme Court order.

The Supreme Court today directed the DoT to reconsider demands raised against the PSUs. "Have questioned the DoT on how demand against PSUs had been raised, when our judgement never even dealt with PSUs." CLICK TO READ REPORT

For telecom companies, the court said that they are directed to file a reply on the roadmap of payment, time to be allowed, and securities.

On May 18, the top court had lashed out at Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and other mobile phone operators for self-assessing their outstanding telecom dues, saying they need to pay past dues with interest and penalty -- an estimated amount of Rs 1.6 lakh crore.

The apex court had also came down heavily on the DoT for allowing companies to re-assess what they owed to the government, and said its order -- passed on October 24, 2019 -- on revenues for calculating dues was final.

The court will hear the AGR case again on June 18.


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