New Delhi: Bharti Airtel, aims to issue offshore bonds to raise USD 1 billion or Rs 8,200 crore. The telecom giant plans to refinance high-cost debt, fortify its balance sheet and meet the financial requirement of its 5G project.
As reported by the Economic Times, the second-largest telecom operator of India currently holding discussions with many of the big foreign banking entities like Barclays, Standard Chartered Bank and Citi for the matter. The firm wants to explore US dollar bond floatation in overseas markets in one or more proportions in the fiscal year 2023, people close to the matter told the ET.
The sources said, “Airtel is in initial talks with banks for a dollar bond issuance of up to $1 billion. It would take some time for all regulatory approvals to come; the talks are at the stage of setting up a framework.”
Meanwhile, the talks have not been finalised yet and are still in progress, whereas, the sources further told that these maturities yield results in about three to five years.
The Telecom operator’s net debt rose by 1.6 per cent to Rs 2.13 lakh crore in the fourth quarter of the financial year 2023, mainly due to an increase in lease liabilities. Gopal Vital, who is the managing director of Airtel, stated that Airtel is hoping to cut its debt more as it would help the company in achieving sustainable growth.
On the other hand, market experts have to say that Jio and Bharti Airtel together will contribute about 81 per cent in the market share by the year Finacial Year 2025, sidelining the Vodafone Idea, thereby giving it tougher competition in the coming quarters.
“Vodafone Idea’s delayed 5G rollout could trigger further share consolidation with leading operators RJio and Bharti which are ramping up 5G services. The top two operators continue to dominate with combined 77 percent of sector revenue, which we expect will rise to 81 percent by FY25CL. We remain positive on RJio and Bharti,” said Market experts.