Govt approves up to 100% FDI limit in Bharti Airtel: Co filing

New Delhi: The Department of Telecom (DoT) has approved raising of foreign direct investment in Bharti Airtel to 100% from 49% allowed earlier, a stock exchange filing of the company said on Tuesday.

The company also has the approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that allowed foreign investors to hold up to 74% stake in the company.

"Bharti Airtel Limited has received the approval from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) vide its letter dated January 20, 2020, for increasing the limit of foreign investment up to 100% of the paid-up capital of the company," the filing said.

The approval comes few days before the company has to clear statutory liabilities of up to nearly Rs 35,586 crore, of which Rs 21,682 crore is licence fee and another Rs 13,904.01 crore is spectrum dues (excluding the dues of Telenor and Tata Teleservices).

"...the aforesaid approval read together with the RBI approval dated July 3, 2014 granted to the company allows the FPIs/FIIs to invest upto 74% of the paid up capital of the company," it said.

In August, Bharti Airtel had applied for a hike in foreign investment limit to 100% due to possible change in classification of its promoter, Bharti Telecom Ltd, as an overseas investor.

Bharti Telecom may seek equity funding from its existing shareholders, including Singapore-based Singtel, to help meet certain debt obligations, the company had said.

As Singtel already holds 48% stake in Bharti Telecom, a minor rise of its stake would result in reclassification of Bharti Airtel's promoter as a foreign investor.

As of December-end, Bharti Telecom owned 41.24% stake in Bharti Airtel and foreign portfolio investors held around 16.20%.

Today, shares of the company ended 0.6% higher at 511.75 rupees on the National Stock Exchange.

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