Mobile phone carriers’ airwave bids raise debt concerns


Bharti Airtel shares were up 0.7 per cent by 0948 GMT, having risen as much as 4.8 per cent earlier on Friday.Mobile phone carriers, Bharti Airtel Ltd and Idea Cellular, pared early gains on Friday as aggressive spending on airwave purchases raised concerns about debt levels in an industry where margins are relatively low.

Bharti, Vodafone and Idea – the top three Indian carriers – bought a combined $8 billion worth of airwaves in a government auction that ended on Thursday. Overall, seven companies spent a total of $10 billion at the auction.

Bharti Airtel shares were up 0.7 per cent by 0948 GMT, having risen as much as 4.8 per cent earlier on Friday. Idea was up 0.5 per cent, cutting gains after rising up to 5.7 per cent. The stocks have underperformed the broader market this year on concerns over spectrum bid worries.

Carriers will need to pay a quarter to a third of their winning prices upfront, and the remainder through 2026 in annual instalments with a 10 per cent interest.

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SOURCE: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/
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