Southeast Asia’s largest telecommunications group Singapore Telecom (SingTel) is looking to raise its stake in Indian international long-distance (ILD) services provider SingTel Global (India) from 74% to 100%, Business Standard reports. It is understood that the city-state carrier is seeking approval from India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for the move which, if realised, will mark the first foreign telco to increase its investment in the country since India opted to allow 100% foreign direct ownership (FDI) in the domestic telecoms market. SingTel submitted its request to the FIPB last month, soon after the government relaxed its FDI rules.
Under the plan, minority shareholders Leela Lace Software Solutions (16.01%) and Bharti Enterprises (9.9%) are looking to divest their holdings, while SingTel Australia Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of SingTel which owns 73.9999% of the Indian venture, will buy out their combined stake. INS Holdings meanwhile owns a 0.0001% stake. As well as offering ILD services in India, SingTel Global (India) also has a national long-distance licence.