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Bharti Airtel jumps on bargain hunting

Capital Market/ 13:13 , Mar 21, 2013

Bharti Airtel jumped 7.33% to Rs 301.75 at 13:10 IST on BSE on bargain hunting after the stock slumped 12.67% in the preceding eleven sessions to Rs 281.15 on 20 March 2013, from a recent high of Rs 321.95 on 5 March 2013.

Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex was up 179.40 points, or 0.95%, to 19,063.59.

On BSE, 8.61 lakh shares were traded in the counter as against an average daily volume of 5.21 lakh shares in the past one quarter.

The stock hit a high of Rs 303.50 and a low of Rs 283.60 so far during the day. The stock had hit a 52-week high of Rs 370.40 on 25 January 2013. The stock had hit a 52-week low of Rs 238.50 on 30 August 2012.

The stock had underperformed the market over the past one month till 20 March 2013, sliding 7.68% compared with the Sensex's 3.86% fall. The scrip had also underperformed the market in past one quarter, sliding 11.28% as against Sensex's 2.93% fall.

The large-cap company has an equity capital of Rs 1898.76 crore. Face value per share is Rs 5.

Bharti Airtel witnessed selling pressure recently after a court on Tuesday, 19 March 2013, summoned Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Mittal in a case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of airwaves in 2002. Shares of Bharti Airtel fell 8.72% in two trading sessions to Rs 281.15 on Wednesday, 20 March 2013, from Rs 308 on Monday, 18 March 2013.

Bharti Airtel issued a clarification after market hours on Tuesday, 19 March 2013, which said that the management is saddened at the summons being issued to Bharti Airtel (earlier Bharti Cellular) and to Sunil Bharti Mittal, as the Chairman & Managing Director of Bharti Airtel, whilst taking cognizance of the Charge Sheet filed by the CBI against Bharti Airtel, two Vodafone entities and an individual.

The matter pertains to alleged corruption in allocating mobile phone bandwidth during the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government in 2002. Bharti Airtel said that it will fight this charge sheet against Bharti Airtel and Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel.

Bharti Airtel said that CBI has asserted that they have not found any evidence of conspiracy against any individual whatsoever. The requests for additional spectrum allocations to improve the Quality of Service and to raise the standards of mobile telephony in India to global standards had been raised by several telecom operators and by Industry Associations since 1999/2000, Bharti Airtel said. The spectrum allocation i.e. subject of the charge sheet was made to Bharti Airtel in December 2003 under the charge of then Minister of Communications in the NDA, Arun Shourie who has already been given a clean chit, Bharti Airtel said.

The fact also is that the spectrum under the government policy of 1 February 2002, which the Charge Sheet alleges, was issued to benefit Bharti Airtel and Vodafone continued until April 2010 under 3 separate Ministers of Telecom and 6 Secretaries in the DoT and despite being considered by several formal/informal committees of the DoT/TRAI, Bharti Airtel said. All other telecom operators including MTNL and BSNL received additional spectrum under this policy of 1 February 2002.

The government has on several occasions stated on the floor of the Parliament, even as recently as 7 December 2012, that the additional spectrum granted to all operators and the related spectrum usage charges are as per the policy. The DoT has also filed affidavits before the courts confirming the same, Bharti Airtel said.

The company said that it would like to reiterate that Bharti Airtel and its promoters have always practised the highest standards of corporate governance and accordingly view the Charge Sheet as an attempt to tarnish its high reputation.

Bharti Airtel's consolidated net profit declined 71.9% to Rs 283.70 crore on 9.5% growth in net sales to Rs 20239.50 crore in Q3 December 2012 over Q3 December 2011.

Bharti Airtel is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company's product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce.


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