Manmohan Singh throws his weight behind Bharti-MTN deal | business | Hindustan Times
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Manmohan Singh throws his weight behind Bharti-MTN deal

business Updated: Sep 26, 2009 20:32 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured support to the proposed $23-billion equity swap cum strategic alliance between Bharti Airtel and South Africa's MTN and hoped the deal would go through.

"I did mention this to President (Jacob) Zuma. I sincerely hope this deal goes through," the prime minister said while addressing a press conference in Pittsburgh on Friday night, when asked if he had taken up the matter with the South African leadership.

"I hope Indian companies will not be subjected to any discriminatory treatment," the prime minister added, in reference to the regulatory roadblocks, both in India and South Africa, that have emerged in way of the deal.

The South Africans want dual listing of Bharti-MTN shares for the deal between the telecom firms to go through, while India does not permit such a listing, as it would tantamount to capital account convertibility.

The Indian government is reluctant to amend its rules for one company.

"The matter can be further discussed with the South African government," Manmohan Singh said.