SingTel raises stake in India's Bharti Airtel for S$384 million

SINGAPORE Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:21pm IST



SINGAPORE Aug 15 (Reuters) - Singapore Telecommunications Ltd said on Thursday it will increase its effective interest in India's Bharti Airtel Ltd to 32.34 percent from 30.76 percent, paying around S$383.6 million ($302.2 million).

SingTel, Southeast Asia's largest telecommunication operator, said it had agreed to buy 788,538 shares, or 3.62 percent, of Bharti Telecom Ltd. Bharti Telecom holds approximately 43.57 percent of Bharti Airtel.

"The acquisition would allow SingTel to increase its effective stake in BAL (Bharti Airtel), and is in line with SingTel's strategic focus on maximising the value of its existing businesses, which includes reviewing opportunities to increase shareholdings in existing associates," the Singapore firm said.

SingTel reported on Wednesday a 7 percent rise in its first-quarter net profit, but warned of falling revenue due to the weakening Australian dollar. ($1 = 1.2695 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Eveline Danubrata; Editing by Rachel Armstrong)