Bharti Airtel shares scale 52-week high; co in talks to sell four African subsidiaries

While the broad market sentiment continued to exhibit volatility, shares of telecom major Bharti Airtel appeared upbeat and scaled to its 52-week high level of Rs 450.85 as the markets cheered the news about the company being engaged in exclusive talks to sell four of its African subsidiaries to France's Orange for around $1 billion.

India's number one telecom company's African operations has been a drag on its financials with fourth quarter net loss for year ended March 2015 widening to Rs 1,156 crore from Rs 663 crore a year ago weighed down by forex losses.

 Bharti Airtel shares scale 52-week high; co in talks to sell four African subsidiaries

Reuters

Bharti Airtel's Africa revenue had dropped by 12.6% in the quarter ended March 2015 over last year to $1 billion, from $1.14 billion in the same quarter last year. Even as the company's overall subscription in Africa grew 9.8 percent year-on-year to 76.3 million users, it, however, failed to turn around the operations.

The sale, if materialises, will help Bharti improve its financials and focus more on the domestic market where the re-entry of Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio reportedly by year-end is expected to shake up the industry dominated by the top three over the past decade, say analysts.

At 2.20 pm, shares of Bharti Airtel were at Rs 447.50, up 4.2 percent from the previous close. The stock was the second-best performer among the Sensex constituents. The company will announce its first-quarter (April-June) earnings on August 4.

Updated Date: Jul 21, 2015 14:23:13 IST