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Qatar Foundation to sell 5% in Airtel

Qatar Foundation to sell 5% in Airtel

Qatar Foundation, a non-profit run by the gas-rich country's royal family, on Wednesday sold its 5 per cent stake in India's largest telecom services company Bharti Airtel for over Rs 9,500 crore. Qatar Foundation's Three Pillars Pte affiliate won't own any shares in Bharti Airtel after the sale, the terms show.

The price band for the deal is discounted at 4.7-8 percent on Tuesday's closing price.

Bharti Airtel shares fell 3.4 percent to close at Rs 514.35 ahead of the news on Tuesday, but are still up more than 68 percent in 2017. However, it is much higher than the Rs 340 per share paid by Three Pillars in 2013 when it bought the stake valued at roughly around Rs 6,800 crore. The stake sale arrives after other Qatari companies, counting its autonomous wealth fund, have been marking down stakes in foreign corporations and raising cash to endure hassle on its economy, which has been hit by economic authorizations forced by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt since early June.

QFE will reinvest the proceeds from Bharti Airtel stake sale as part of the growth of its global portfolio and diversification, it said in the statement.

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The Gulf countries cut ambassadorial and transport bond with Doha on June 5, blaming it for backing terrorism, a charge which Doha refuses. Recently, Qatar's sovereign wealth fund pumped in billions of dollars into their domestic banks in a move to shore up the deposits, the business daily reported.

"We are delighted to have partnered with Bharti Airtel through an important stage of their growth. Bharti Airtel has successfully maintained its market-leading position, and its positive momentum has led to our investment performing well", said Rashid Al-Naimi, chief executive officer of QFE.

The QFE Group will reinvest the proceeds globally, as we continue to grow and diversify our portfolio. With this transaction, Bharti Telecom's stake in Airtel increased to 50.1% from 45.48%.