India’s Bharti Airtel plans to raise $1 billion in fresh capital

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BENGALURU, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Indian telecoms operator Bharti Airtel Ltd (BRTI.NS) said on Tuesday it will raise $1 billion in debt, after announcing better-than-expected quarterly revenue thanks to tariffs higher.

Airtel said it would raise the amount, 75 billion rupees ($1 billion), by issuing non-convertible debt securities, including debentures and bonds, but did not disclose how it would use the money .

Embroiled in a fierce price war that began since billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio entered India’s telecom sector in 2016, Airtel has raised capital for the development of its products and services to attract more customers. .

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Last month, Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) said it would invest up to $1 billion in Airtel to help develop its devices, home broadband, data centers, adoption of the cloud and 5G networks. Read more

India’s telecom sector has benefited from increased use of data as more people shift to remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mobile data consumption by Airtel, India’s second-largest telecommunications company by number of subscribers, rose 33.8% in the third quarter from a year earlier.

In November, the company raised prices on prepaid plans, as did rivals Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea, reiterating that the industry’s average revenue per user (ARPU) – a key performance indicator in the telecommunications industry – must reach 300 rupees for a financially sound business model.

Airtel’s ARPU in the third quarter increased by 11.6% to 163 rupees, ahead of Jio’s 151.6 rupees.

Airtel’s subscriber base in India has grown to around 356 million, adding 3 million 4G subscribers in the last three months of 2021 to reach 195.5 million.

Consolidated revenue from operations rose 12.6% to 298.67 billion rupees ($4 billion) from estimates of 291.97 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Consolidated net profit fell 2.8% to 8.30 billion rupees.

($1 = 74.7170 Indian rupees)

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Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; edited by Uttaresh.V and Shinjini Ganguli

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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