Singapore telecommunications company SingTel has decided to increase 7.39% stake in Bharti Telecom for $659.5 million, announced the company.
SingTel buys this share from Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings. The new deal will increase the 39% stake of SingTel in Bharti Telecom to 46.39%. Bharti Telecom holds 45.09% in Bharti Airtel. The new investment will increase SingTel’s share in Airtel from 33% to 36.6%.
SingTel is also buying a 21% stake in Thai telecom firm Intouch Holdings PCL. Once this deal is closed, SingTel will get a 31.8% stake in Advanced Info Service (AIS), the number one wireless carrier in Thailand. Intouch holds 40% stake in AIS.
“Thailand and India are fundamentally attractive markets which are reaping the benefits of rapidly increasing smartphone penetration,” Singtel’s group chief executive officer Chua Sock Koong said at a press meet.
The investment is India is seen as a result of the foreign investor’s increasing confidence in the Indian Telecom sector. In India, there is a rise in competition between the telecom operators owing to the new 4G revolution happening in the country.
“Both AIS and Airtel are well-positioned to benefit from these trends. The recent mobile spectrum auctions in Thailand and ongoing industry consolidation in India have strengthened their competitive positions. They have also built for the future, securing significant spectrum for the long term and investing extensively in 3G and 4G networks and services,” it said.
The transactions are subjected to stakeholders’ and governmental approvals.