Qatari investor's stake sale hammers Bhart Airtel stock

Shares of Bharti Airtel today fell almost 4 per cent after Qatar Foundation, a non-profit run by the gas-rich country's royal family, sold its 5 per cent stake in the telecom services firm.

It is now offering shares of the Indian wireless carrier at 473 rupees to 480 rupees apiece, representing a 6.7 percent to 8 percent discount to its last close, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Bharti Group declined to comment.

Shares of Bharti Airtel slipped as much as 6 per cent in early trade after multiple block deals were seen in the counter on both BSE as well as NSE.

Major Gulf nations have cut diplomatic and transport relations with Qatar accusing it of backing terrorism. With the shares in an upward spiral, telecom companies have gained Rs 40,300 crore in combined market value. Recently, Qatar's sovereign wealth fund pumped in billions of dollars into their domestic banks in a move to shore up the deposits, the business daily reported.

The proceeds of the share sale will be reinvested as part of the QFE Group's ongoing global portfolio growth and diversification, as it seeks to generate long-term financial returns by investing across a range of asset-classes, industries and geographies.

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

Rashed Fahad Al-Noaimi, chief executive of investments at Qatar Foundation will step down from Bharti Airtel's board after the settlement of the sale.

UBS acted as sole bookrunner on this transaction.

However, just like shares of other telecom companies, Bharti Airtel stocks have rallied 22-23 percent over the last week. The sale was subscribed about three times.

"The company has received a communication dated 3 November 2017 from Bharti Telecom, the promoter of the company that it has acquired 184,710,183 equity shares of the company from Indian Continent Investment", Bharti Airtel said in a BSE filing.

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