Talks on Thursday to solve Bharti-MTN puzzle | india | Hindustan Times
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Talks on Thursday to solve Bharti-MTN puzzle

india Updated: Sep 23, 2009 21:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The Finance Ministry has formed a four-member committee to meet South African officials who are visiting India this week to discuss the corporate alliance between Bharti Airtel and MTN. The meeting is expected on Thursday.

The committee comprises two joint secretaries of the Finance Ministry and one official each from the Reserve Bank of India and the Securities and Exchange Board of India. SEBI’s new takeover code is standing in the way of the complex deal in which MTN must ease its voting rights or pay more cash to secure the transaction.

The External Affairs Ministry on Wednesday sought appointment from the Finance Ministry for the South African officials.

The two sides will discuss the rules regarding listing of shares in both countries, referred to as “dual listing”.

“With the new takeover code, the deal has taken a unique turn. Now, the most logical solution would be to create a simpler structure that respects sentiments of South African people and follows Indian legal requirements. Such a deal would get support at every level,” said Subodh Agrawal, chairman of Euromax Capital, a London-based investment bank with special focus on India and Africa.

There is only a week to go for the deadline of the exclusive talks between the two companies. Shares of Bharti Airtel fell by 3.4 per cent at Rs 414.40 on Wednesday.