Bharti Airtel says mulling opportunities in South Asia

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Sept 01, 2015 (LBO) – India’s Bharti Airtel says the telecommunications company considers various options on a regular basis, amid media reports that it is looking to divest its Sri Lanka and Bangladesh operations.

In a clarification to the Bombay Stock Exchange, Airtel said it evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis in ordinary course of business and will make necessary disclosure as and when required, the Businsss Standard reported.

The exchange sought clarification with regard to reports that Airtel is looking to sell its telecom portfolio in South Asia. The reports said Airtel had appointed two lead bankers for sale.

Airtel has about 2,500 telecom towers in Sri Lanka and 4,000 in Bangladesh.

Airtel’s revenue from operations in South Asia, which includes Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, stood at 3.8 billion Indian rupees for the quarter ended June 30, 2015. This is a decrease of 11.1 percent compared with Rs 4.3 billion Indian rupees in the corresponding quarter last year, primarily due to lower minutes of usage.

EBITDA loss for the quarter was at 476 million Indian rupees as compared to EBITDA of 233 million Indian rupees in the corresponding quarter last year, the Business Standard said.