Morgan Stanley upgrades Bharti Airtel to "overweight"

  Morgan Stanley upgrades Bharti Airtel to "overweight"Global financial analytical giant, Morgan Stanley has upgraded the shares of Indian telecom sector giant, Bharti Airtel to `overweight' from `equal-weight' due to favourable developments like rising tariffs and data volumes, lower capital expenditure and lesser competition.

Experts say that the failure of the recent 900 Mhz auction will force the government to reduce the base price for the spectrum and this is a favourable development for the country's mobile sector. They say that the lower base price will allow established players like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular to get additional spectrum at lower prices ahead of their licence renewals scheduled for next year.

As the government did not find any bidders for the GSM airwaves, the auction would not involve over bidding and they will be able to get more spectrum and offer improved services to their customers. The government had offered GSM airwaves in the 1800 MHz band in four regions including Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka, and Rajasthan and 900 MHz band in Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata but it was not able to find bidders.

Aircel and Reliance Communications did not participate in the auctions because the companies have utilised spectrum while some companies whose licenses were cancelled, are not looking to enter the Indian market. On the other hand, Bharti, Vodafone and Idea have additional subscribers and need more spectrum to support additional services, according to analysts.

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