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Airtel to soon raise $1 billion through overseas loans to refinance debt

July 11, 2018

Bharti Airtel plans to raise about $1 billion through overseas loans in order to refinance its high-cost debt and free up cash for capex investments needed to expand its 4G network which will help it compete better with Reliance Jio Infocomm and the Vodafone-Idea merged entity.

Airtel's debt has increased to over Rs 950 billion in 2018 compared with over Rs 910 billion in 2017. This has pushed the telco to raise overseas loans.

As per industry sources, Airtel may be able to raise the money by August 2018 and about five to six banks are expected to arrange the offshore credit for the telco.

Further, Airtel may raise two-three year money which will be priced after adding a mark-up or spread over the LIBOR (London Inter-Bank Offered Rate), a benchmark gauge.

Airtel raised around Rs140 billion through stake sales in its tower and DTH units in 2017. In addition to this, it has raised $6.2 billion through overseas and local bond issuances over the last few years. This will be the first time in several years that the telco is trying to access syndicated overseas loan.




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