Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Airtel to raise $1bn as it looks to expand its 4G networks in India

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Tuesday 01 October 19

Analysts expect significant demand from investors, as Airtel looks to raise cash to fund network expansion

Bharti Airtel is set to raise up to $1 billion through the sale of a number of overseas bonds, according to reports in the Indian press. The Economic Times of India claims that Airtel will initially raise $750 million through the sale…

Bharti Airtel is set to raise up to $1 billion through the sale of a number of overseas bonds, according to reports in the Indian press.

The Economic Times of India claims that Airtel will initially raise $750 million through the sale, raising to $1 billion depending on the levels of investor interest.  

The sale will be managed by eight foreign owned banks, with the bonds believed to be priced between 5.75 per cent and 6.1 per cent.

Like all operators in India, Airtel is struggling with high levels of debt and ultra-competitive market conditions. Despite this fact, analysts claim that Airtel's balance sheet is more robust than that of its competitors.

“Bharti Airtel’s balance sheet is more robust than its peers, end of June 19; Vodafone Idea’s net debt to ebidta (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) was 12 times, that of Reliance Jio was six times and that of Bharti Airtel was 3.4 times,” brokerage Goldman Sachs said in a recent note.

The country's third biggest mobile network operator plans to use the cash to expand its 4G networks while simultaneously laying the ground work for its 5G network launch in 2020.

Also in the news:

BSNL to raise $1.7bn to fund turnaround 

Huawei: Contigous spectrum release is key for India's 5G success 

Airtel launches its gigabit home broadband offering 

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