May 15, 2017 / 4:39 AM / 3 months ago

BUZZ-India's Idea Cellular falls after posting March-qtr loss

** Shares of India's third largest operator, Idea Cellular Ltd falls as much as 3.4 pct to 89.25 rupees

** Company posted a consolidated net loss of 3.28 bln rupees ($51.2 mln) for March-qtr compared with a profit of 4.52 bln rupees a year ago (bit.ly/2pAnstj)

** Results come after Bharti Airtel last week reported its smallest quarterly profit in more than four years

** Free services offered by upstart rival Jio have sparked a price war in the sector, hitting margins and sparking consolidation

** Idea is in talks with Vodafone Group Plc's Indian subsidiary for a merger

** Up to Friday's close, stock had risen 24.5 pct compared with a 14.8 pct increase in the NSE index ($1 = 64.0700 Indian rupees)

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