DoT greenlights increase in Airtel FDI cap

22 Jan 2020

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has approved an increase in the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in Indian telecom group Bharti Airtel to 100%, the Economic Times writes. The approval paves the way for potential further infusions of capital from the operator’s major stakeholders, including Singapore Telecom (Singtel). Although Airtel’s current foreign ownership stands at just 44.28%, a minor change in the level of foreign equity in holding company Bharti Telecom would result in the latter firm becoming a foreign-owned company and its entire stake would then be considered foreign investment, according to the Indian daily. Bharti Telecom is 48% owned by Singtel at the moment, but if Singtel or any other overseas entities infuse capital in the business, the level of foreign ownership would quickly cross the 50% threshold, leading Telecom’s roughly 40% stake in Airtel to be considered foreign capital. Such a change would lift foreign ownership of Airtel to more than 85%, exceeding the current cap of 74%.

India, Bharti Airtel, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Singtel Group