RPT-MARKET EYE-India's Bharti Airtel gain on tariff hike hopes

Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:16pm IST

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* Shares in Bharti Airtel rise 2.3 percent, heading
for their fifth consecutive session of gains, as more brokerages
upgrade the stock after last week's auction of 2G spectrum
fetched lower prices than the government had targeted.
 
* Bharti shares surged 9.3 percent last week, the biggest weekly
gain since late September.
* Credit Suisse upgraded Bharti to 'outperform' from
'underperform', and raised its target price to 355 rupees from
225 rupees, citing greater clarity on the regulatory front and
reduced competitiveness in the domestic sector.
* The investment banks add operators could also be testing
markets for tariff hikes by reducing discounts.
* "While the recent rally in stocks has been led by easing
regulatory concerns, we believe the next leg will be driven by
tariff increases," Credit Suisse said in a note dated on Monday.
* Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock as well, to 'buy' from
'neutral', also citing reduced regulatory risk and potential for
tariff hikes, according to a note dated on Friday.
* "We see room for potential tariff hikes in coming months as
operators focus on reducing losses and pass the burden of higher
spectrum on to consumers," Goldman wrote.

 (abhishek.vishnoi@thomsonreuters.com)
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