SingTel raises stake in Bharti Airtel for $302M

Singapore telco has increased its effective interest in the Indian telco from 30.76 percent to 32.34 percent, in line with its "strategic focus to maximize the value of its business".

SingTel will buy 3.62 percent of Bharti Telecom, which holds about a 43.57 percent stake in Bharti Airtel.

SingTel said it will increase its stake in Bharti Airtel to 32.34 percent from 30.76 percent, paying around S$383.6 million (US$302.2 million).

According to Reuters on Thursday, SingTel said it agreed to buy 788,538 shares, or 3.62 percent of Bharti Telecom, another stakeholder which holds about 43.57 percent of the Indian telco.

"The acquisition would allow SingTel to increase its effective stake in [Bharti Airtel] and is in line with SingTel's strategic focus on maximizing the value of its existing businesses, which includes reviewing opportunities to increase shareholdings in existing associates," the Singapore firm said.

The move follows the sale of its 30 percent stake in loss-making Warid Telecom in Pakistan in January. SingTel last raised its shareholdings in an associate in 2011 when it raised its stake in Thailand's AIS for around US$260 million.

In its Q1 earnings released Wednesday, SingTel's net profit rose 7 percent to US$797 million, despite a 5.3 percent drop in revenue at US$3.38 billion .