Bharti Airtel Aims to Raise $1 billion via offshore bonds
Telecom major Bharti Airtel is considering the option of offshore bonds to raise around $1 billion for reducing its debt and invest in improving 5G infrastructure. Bharti Airtel and Jio are main competitors in the Indian market and the serious challenge posed by Jio can only be dealt with, if Airtel has enough of cash. The telecom major will reduce its high-cost debt by issuing new bonds at lower interest rates. Reliance Jio has launched 5G network across many cities and the company offered free upgrade to 5G network for its clients.
As per a report published by Economic Times, Bharti Airtel is in talks with financial services majors Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays and Citi about raising funds. Bharti Airtel also plans to strengthen its balance sheet with fresh funding.
As per latest data, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel currently have 81 percent market share in the Indian telecom segment. Vodafone Idea’s plans to launch 5G services has been delayed and this will offer an advantage for Airtel and Jio. Users have reported much better data speeds on 5G networks. While majority of users are still not having a smartphone that supports 5G technology, the shift can be fast as many new 5G smartphones have been launched in the affordable price range in the recent months.
Bharti Airtel stock closed at Rs 836 on Friday as Indian markets closed at their highest ever level for major indices. Bharti Airtel has touched 52-week high of Rs 888.75 recently. Market analysts have given positive ratings for Bharti Airtel stock with medium to long term view.
As there will be two major players in the Indian telecom sector, the outlook for Bharti Airtel is fairly stable. Geojit BNP Paribas has given BUY Rating with target price of Rs 925. ICICI Direct has BUY Recommendation for the stock with target price of Rs 925. Axis Direct, ICICI Securities and Anand Rathi have positive view on the stock.