Qatari investor sells $1.5 billion stake in Bharti Airtel

The Qatar Foundation, a non-profit run by Qatar's royal family, said on Wednesday that it had sold its five per cent stake in telecom major Bharti Airtel for around Rs 9,600 crore.

Three Pillars Pte, a subsidiary of the Qatar Foundation, sold 199.9 million Bharti Airtel shares through stock market transactions.

The price range is a discount of 4.7-8 percent to Bharti Airtel's Tuesday closing price, but far higher than the 340 rupees Three Pillars paid for it in 2013.

Mumbai: Shares of Bharti Airtel Ltd on Wednesday slumped 6.7%, its biggest fall in almost eight months, after multiple block deals, according to a Bloomberg report.

The Gulf countries cut ambassadorial and transport bond with Doha on June 5, blaming it for backing terrorism, a charge which Doha refuses. A representative for the Bharti Group refused to comment.

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"We are delighted to have partnered with Bharti Airtel though an important stage of their growth".

The QFE Group will reinvest the proceeds globally, as we continue to grow and diversify our portfolio. "Bharti Airtel has successfully maintained its marketleading position, and its positive momentum has led to our investment performing well", Rashid Al-Naimi, Chief Executive Officer of QFE said.

The S&P BSE Telecom index was trading almost 2 per cent down in Wednesday's morning trade as the index heavyweight Bharti Airtel cracked over 5 per cent. While neither firm named the buyers, reports say they included a mix of foreign and domestic institutional investors.

Bharti Airtel is a leading telecom player offering diversified telecom services, viz., wireless, fixed line, enterprise and DTH services. The stake sale also comes at a time when the Indian telecom market has seen an intense tariff war triggered by the entry of aggressive newcomer Reliance Jio.

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