Vodafone Idea, Bharti Infratel shares tank in early trade after Supreme Court dismisses review plea on AGR issue

  • Vodafone Idea recovered to Rs 4.69 per share in the late morning trade from the early loss

  • Though Bharti Infratel plunged 13% on the BSE in the early trade, it managed to recover the early losses to some extent and was trading at Rs 225.55 a share

  • In a big blow to the telecom sector, the apex court dismissed the review petition filed by telecom companies to grant a relief on AGR liabilities

Shares of Vodafone Idea tanked nearly 40 percent, while that of Bharti Infratel plunged 13 percent in early trade on Friday after the telcos suffered a setback following the Supreme Court verdict on Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR).

On Thursday, the apex court dismissed a review petition filed by telecom majors, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, seeking a review of certain directions of the court on the recovery of past dues amounting to Rs 1.47 lakh crore from telecom service providers. The statutory dues are to be paid by 23 January.

Vodafone Idea recovered to Rs 4.69 per share in the late morning trade from the early loss. The company's scrip had tanked 39.30 percent to Rs 3.66 on the BSE in the morning trade.

 Vodafone Idea, Bharti Infratel shares tank in early trade after Supreme Court dismisses review plea on AGR issue

Representational image. Reuters.

On the NSE, it recovered to Rs 4.70 after the stock plummeted 39.16 percent to Rs 3.65 in the morning trade.

Though Bharti Infratel plunged 13 percent on the BSE in the early trade, it managed to recover the early losses to some extent and was trading at Rs 225.55 a share, down 17.50  or 7.21 percent in the late morning trade.

Similarly, the company scrip was trading at Rs 226.10 per share, down 16.95 or 6.97 percent in the late morning trade on the NSE.

SC rejects AGR review petition

In a big blow to the telecom sector, the apex court dismissed the review petition filed by telecom companies to grant a relief on AGR liabilities, said a report by Motilal Oswal Institutional Equities.

"The verdict may put a severe burden on telcos and have unconceivable repercussions, particularly against the backdrop of VIL facing a risk of shutdown (it may result in INR1.2t debt default, large-scale job losses and subscriber churn)," the report said.

On 24 October, the Supreme Court had ruled that the statutory dues need to be calculated by including non-telecom revenues in what is known as AGR of telcos.

Bharti Airtel, in its plea, had sought review of the directions on aspects of levy of interest, penalty and interest on penalty relating to AGR.

With the Supreme Court dismissing its review petition on AGR dues, Bharti Airtel on Thursday said it is disappointed, and evaluating options to file a curative petition in the matter.

"While respecting the Supreme Court's decision, we would like to express our disappointment as we believe the long standing disputes raised regarding the AGR definition were bonafide and genuine," Airtel said in a statement.

Vodafone Idea said it is exploring further options, including filing of a curative petition after the Supreme Court  dismissed its review plea on AGR matter.

"...we wish to inform you that Hon'ble Supreme Court, has dismissed the review petition filed by the Company and other telecom operators. The company is exploring further options, including filing of a curative petition," Vodafone Idea said in a stock exchange filing.

Vodafone Idea, reeling under massive debt of around Rs 1.17 lakh crore, had earlier cited acute financial stress on the company behind the decision to raise mobile call and data charges.

With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: Jan 17, 2020 12:18:57 IST