Bharti Airtel has been granted permission by India’s Department of Telecommunications to receive up to 100% of its paid-up capital from overseas investors.
Previously, the operator was permitted 49% FDI (foreign direct investment), and its current foreign ownership stands at around 44%. The ruling will likely enable Airtel to pull in more capital from non-domestic parties.
In January, Airtel attempted to court overseas investors by making $1 billion in bonds available for sale. It also issued $2 billion in shares in an attempt to procure funding in the face of colossal debt burdens incurred following a controversial legislation change.
India’s Supreme Court ruled in October 2019 that the term AGR (adjusted gross revenue) should cover all operator revenue, including any unrelated to telecoms. The ruling has saddled Airtel with licence and spectrum fees totally INR355 billion ($4.99 billion).