Airtel to spend $3.5 bn in FY'10; to raise debt for infra cos | india | Hindustan Times
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Airtel to spend $3.5 bn in FY'10; to raise debt for infra cos

india Updated: Jan 22, 2009 16:37 IST

PTI
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The country's largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel on Thursday said it would invest about $3.5 billion in the next fiscal in telecom operations and in rolling out passive infrastructure.

Bharti also said that it is on track to spend the same amount in the current fiscal.

"On mobile telecom operations-side the investment would be about $2-2.5 billion and the tower business-side between Bharti Infratel and Indus we should be spending between 2.5 and $3 billion in FY10.

"But in Indus (which is a tower tripartite venture of Vodafone Essar, Idea and Bharti) we have 42 per cent share so the exact investment in the tower business will come down to dollar one billion making it the same as last year's capex of $3.5 billion," Bharti Enterprises MD Akhil Gupta said here.

Overall capital expenditure will be $3.5 billion ballpark, but we will know the exact amount by the end of the next quarter, he said.

He said the company need not raise any funding for mobile operations but in the tower companies -- Bharti Infratel and Indus -- there will be a need to raise debt to fund the expansion.

While Indus has 93,000 towers, Bharti Infratel, which is a wholly-owned business of Bharti Enterprises, has 30,000 towers. Overall, Bharti's share comes to 61,000 towers on a proportionate basis as it holds 42 per cent in Indus towers.

"Both will require debt funding," he said but did not share the amount saying it is competitive information.

Whatever required would be raised on need basis. Our net debt is very low -- net debt to equity is just 0.19.