In­dia’s wire­less auc­tion to raise Rs 210 bil­lion

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

NEW DELHI

In­dia's auc­tion of wire­less spec­trum re­claimed af­ter a cor­rup­tion probe into the award of li­censes may raise 53 per­cent of the gov­ern­ment's tar­get as prices de­ter bil­lion­aires from Rus­sia to Malaysia.

The auc­tion of sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion air­waves set to start on Nov. 12 may raise 210 bil­lion ru­pees ($ 3.9 bil­lion), ac­cord­ing to an av­er­age es­ti­mate of five an­a­lysts sur­vey.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pala­niap­pan Chi­dambaram said Oct. 29 the gov­ern­ment ex­pects the sale to raise 400 bil­lion ru­pees.

Com­pa­nies con­trolled by bil­lion­aires Vladimir Ev­tushenkov, T. Ananda Kr­ish­nan and Anil Am­bani are stay­ing away from the sale fol- low­ing the gov­ern­ment's de­ci­sion to start bids at $2.6 bil­lion as it seeks to bridge a bud­get deficit.

Just five of the na­tion's 13 op­er­a­tors are in the fray, sig­nal­ing in­vestor con­cern about in­ten­si­fy­ing com­pe­ti­tion and the fall­out from In­dia's big­gest cor­rup­tion probe.

" The gov­ern­ment might now take a slightly more re­al­is­tic view of the re­serve price," said Mo­ham­mad Chowd­hury, tele­com prac­tice leader at Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers.

"There's huge de­mand for spec­trum, but it just means that at this price, no­body can buy it. It's partly the ex­tremely high re­serve prices and also the dis­tress the in­dus­try is un­der be­cause of a lack of abil­ity to fi­nance fur­ther in­vest­ments."

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