Tower Unit Stake Sale Credit Pos­i­tive for Air­tel: Moody’s

The Economic Times - - Companies - Our Bureau

Kolkata: Moody’s In­vestors Ser­vice has said Bharti Air­tel’s re­cent sale of a 3.7% stake for nearly ₹ 2,600 crore in its tower unit, Bharti In­fratel, is “credit pos­i­tive” for the par­ent com­pany, but ex­pects the mar­ket leader’s prof­itabil­ity to be un­der pres­sure over the next year or more due to the on­go­ing bru­tal price war.

The global rating agency Thurs­day said the stake sale in the tower arm would have no “im­me­di­ate im­pact on Bharti’s Baa3 is­suer and se­nior un­se­cured debt rat­ings and neg­a­tive out­look”.

“The sale of this stake by Bharti Air­tel is con­sis­tent with the man­age­ment’s com­mit­ment to strength­en­ing its bal­ance sheet and re­duc­ing debt, which we view pos­i­tively,” An­nal­isa Di Chiara, VP at Moody’s, said

in a state­ment. How­ever, she ex­pected the stake sale to have “lim­ited im­pact on Bharti Air­tel’s lever­age”, even as­sum­ing all pro­ceeds are used for debt re­duc­tion.

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