S&P Global Ratings has assigned BBB negative long-term issue rating to senior unsecured notes that Bharti Airtel Limited proposes to issue.

In addition, the rating agency has also assigned BB long-term issue rating to the proposed subordinated perpetual securities (PERPS) issued by Network i2i Limited and guaranteed by Bharti Airtel.

S&P Global considers the PERPS to have an effective maturity of 25.25 years and assessed the proposed PERPS as having intermediate equity content up to the first reset date at 5.25 years. Further, it rates the PERPS two notches below the issuer credit rating on Bharti Airtel to reflect the subordination of the notes and the company’s ability to voluntarily defer coupon payments.

According to S&P Global, the outlook on Bharti Airtel remains negative because the company’s deleveraging path has been hampered by regulatory uncertainties and investments that have exceeded expectations. However, it added that as the earnings growth of the telco remained stronger than it anticipated, this has mitigated immediate ratings downside.