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Bharti stock down 3 percent as MTN deal gets costlier

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 (14:18:36) Tags: Business, telecom, Bharti Airtel,BSE, MTN Mumbai: The scrip of telecom major Bharti Airtel fell about 3 percent on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on reports that the company may have to further sweeten its offer for South African telcom company MTN. According to reports, Bharti has offered MTN a 27 percent of its stake for the same money instead of the 25 percent proposed earlier. The Bharti scrip, which opened at Rs.449, fell Rs.13.50 or 3.05 percent to Rs.429.10. It however, recouped some losses in intra-day trading to rule at Rs.431.80. Under the offer earlier, Bharti had proposed to buy 36 percent of the South African company by offering shareholders half a Bharti share, whereas MTN was to get a 25 percent stake in the Indian company for $2.9 billion and through issuing new shares equal to 25 percent of its share capital. The potential transaction between the two companies is proposed to create a leading telecom service provider group, aligning Bharti's market-leading Indian business with MTN's growing African and Middle Eastern operations. MTN's biggest shareholder, with 21 percent, is the Public Investment Corp, a pension fund owned by the South African government. The country's treasury and banking officials are supposed to meet Indian government officials today to discuss foreign exchange control implications of the planned tie-up between MTN and Bharti Airtel. One of the major contentions in the talks is the dual listing demand made by the South African government to India's finance ministry.(IANS)