Singtel Readies For Further Stake Reduction In Bharti Airtel: Report

Singapore’s Singtel is gearing up for another stake sale in Bharti Airtel, India’s second-largest telecom operator, following a recent divestment to GQG Partners.

What Happened: Singtel is set to further reduce its stake in Bharti Airtel, as reported by Moneycontrol. The telecom giant recently divested a 0.8% stake to US-based investment firm GQG Partners for ₹5,849 crore, bringing its direct and indirect holdings down from 29.8% to 29%.

The forthcoming share sale could witness Singtel, predominantly owned by Temasek, the Singapore government’s investment arm, offloading a stake worth up to ₹20,000 crore in one or more block deals.

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Insider sources have disclosed that Singtel is collaborating with investment bank Morgan Stanley for the stake sale. However, any block deal or deals are expected to materialise only post the company’s declaration of the first quarter results for FY25, due to SEBI’s restrictions on share trading by promoters and key managerial personnel from the quarter end till 48 hours after the quarterly results are published.

Singtel, a strategic investor in Airtel since 2000, previously divested a 3.3% direct stake in Airtel for ₹12,895 crore to Bharti Telecom, Airtel's parent company, in 2022.

The stake sales are a part of Singtel’s strategy, initiated in 2021, to decrease debt and enhance shareholder value through dividends. Additionally, the sales will facilitate the growth of its data centre and IT services.

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