Bharti Airtel’s shares tumbled over 6% on Wednesday following multiple block deals worth over Rs 10,000 crore on BSE and NSE. The shares of Bharti Airtel tanked as much as 6.68% at Rs 480 in Wednesday’s trade after around 16.61 crore shares or 4.2% stake of the company changed hands in seven block deals, Bloomberg reported.
The details of the buyers and sellers were not known. However, Reuters reported yesterday that an affiliate of Qatar Foundation Endowment would sell its 5% stake in Bharti Airtel Ltd for about 9,500 crore in block deals today. The affiliate, Three Pillars Pte Ltd, had put up about 1,999 lakh shares for sale in a price range of Rs 473-490 each.
The plan for the stake sale was reported after market close on Tuesday. The sale comes at a time when other Qatari firms, including its sovereign wealth fund, are cutting stakes in foreign companies to raise cash and withstand pressure on the economy, which has been hit by sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt since early June.
The Gulf countries cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha on June 5, accusing it of backing terrorism, a charge which Doha denies. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, has responded to the crisis by pumping billions of dollars into local banks to shore up their deposits.
Meanwhile, Airtel recently said that global investors have shown interest in acquiring stakes of its subsidiary Bharti Infratel amid the news that Bharti Infratel is considering buying Indus Towers, the biggest mobile mast operator in India.
Earlier, media reports said that Bharti Infratel was in talks with a consortium led by KKR to acquire $11 billion Indus Towers. According to a report published by The Times of India, the consortium comprising KKR, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and GIC Singapore will invest $5 billion in a multi-phase acquisition, in which Bharti Infratel, first, will acquire nearly 58% shares of Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Providence Equity Partners in Indus Towers.