The telecom major Bharti Airtel in intra-day trade on Thursday surged by as much as 2% on reports that the company intends to reduce its debt to nearly half i.e. Rs. 50,000 crore by the end of fiscal year 2019-20. At around 11:30 am, the stock traded higher by 1.16% or Rs. 3.90 at Rs. 339.65 on the BSE, while recording an intra-day high of Rs. 342 on the BSE and Rs. 342.55 on the NSE.
The company aims to almost halve its debt to about ₹50,000 crore by March 2020, retaining mostly spectrum dues that are payable annually to the government, senior officials of the telco said.
The company's liabilities in relation to spectrum purchases that are to be paid to the government are anticipated to be in the range of Rs. 45,000 crore- Rs. 50,000 crore. In respect of the auctioned spectrum, payment is made in equal annual instalment over a period of 16 years and there is no penalty in case of early payments.
"One can repay three installments together without attracting any penalty," the official said. At June end the company had a total debt of Rs. 1.16 lakh crore, which is more than the previous quarter due to a change in accounting standards.