Companies & Sectors
August 2010 GSM net additions: Bharti reports lowest figures since June 2007

Bharti’s net additions of 2 million trailed Vodafone, BSNL, and even new entrant Uninor

This has been one of the worst performances ever for Bharti. It has reported its lowest-ever net additions since June 2007. With its net additions lower than Vodafone, BSNL and Uninor, it is possible that it could drop to number 6 in terms of net additions in August (if press reports saying Tata Teleservices added 2.1 million are correct and if Reliance Communications maintains its July 2010 rate). It is possible that Uninor is eating into Bharti's market share.

What is interesting is excluding Reliance Communications and Tata, overall GSM additions were 13.5 million in August 2010, which is much higher than 11.5 million in July - and especially significant because from April to July, subscriber additions have been in the 11-12 million range. This makes August a breakout month.

Details of net additions (month-on-month)
-Bharti: 2 million versus 2.6 million
-Vodafone: 2.3 million versus 2.4 million
-Uninor: 2.22 million versus 850,000
-Idea: 1.99 million versus 1.86 million

The most surprising performer has been Uninor. With its 2.2 million net additions, its total subscriber base is up 32% m-o-m to 9.1 million and this after being present in only 13 out of 22 circles. Kotak said in a note today, "Uninor possibly benefited from its increasing understanding of the Indian consumer (reflected in simpler pricing plans of late as compared to initial launch plans) as well as increasing network coverage in the 13 circles."

The subscriber base in Jammu & Kashmir continues to decline with more stringent know-your-customer norms. Since similar norms are being imposed on Assam and North-Eastern circles, the base in these areas could very well get affected in the coming months.

Bharti still leads with 141 million subscribers (30% market share). The subscribers and market share data for the rest is as follows:

In terms of market share of net additions in August, Vodafone and BSNL lead with 17% each, followed by Uninor at 16%, trailed by Bharti at 15%, Idea at 14% and Aircel at 12%.




6 years ago

Bsnl is the best.......

Stake sale to Vedanta hinges on completion of open offer: Cairn

New Delhi: Cairn Energy Plc's deal to sell a majority stake in its Indian arm to Vedanta Resources for up to $8.48 billion is contingent upon the billionaire Anil Agarwal-led group completing an open offer to minority shareholders of Cairn India, reports PTI quoting a senior official.

Vedanta Resources Group is yet to get the Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) approval for an open offer to acquire up to a 20% stake from minority shareholders at a price of Rs355 a share, Rs50 less than what it is paying Cairn Energy for a majority stake.

The conclusion of the deal is "conditional to completion of open offer in India," Cairn Energy CEO Bill Gammell said today after a 45-minute meeting with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) chairman and managing director R S Sharma here.

The open offer, as per the schedule announced by Vedanta last month, is to open on 11th October.

Mr Gammell said Cairn Energy will call an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of its shareholders in early October to seek ratification of the Vedanta deal.

But the shareholders' nod will mean nothing unless Vedanta is able to complete the open offer in India, he said.

Mr Gammell met Mr Sharma for the second time since announcing the deal to sell a 40% to 51% stake in Cairn India - the firm that operates the giant Rajasthan oilfield - to Vedanta on 16th August.

ONGC insists that Cairn Energy cannot sell a stake to Vedanta without its approval, as it has the pre-emption or right of first refusal by virtue of its participating interest in the Rajasthan oilfield and two other producing assets of Cairn India.

Mr Gammell said his meeting with Mr Sharma was "good."

Cairn Energy, he said, believes that the deal does not trigger ONGC's pre-emption right as it is a corporate transaction between two parties and not the sale of stake in any particular field that normally gives partners right of first refusal (RoFR).

He, however, refused to say if ONGC had diluted its position. "But I am very positive."

ONGC has a 30% interest in the 6.5 billion barrel Rajasthan fields, the centrepiece of the Cairn-Vedanta deal.

Mr Gammell said the state-owned firm had not asked for operatorship of the Rajasthan field in return for waiving its pre-emption rights.

Cairn Energy had last week written to ONGC saying its nod for the Vedanta deal is not required, as Cairn India will continue to exit.

"There is no real change (happening at) Cairn India," he said today. "This is just a corporate deal (involving sale of shares by one party and purchase by another)."

Vedanta is paying Cairn Energy Rs405 per share for a 40% to 51% stake in Cairn India. This includes a Rs50 non-compete fee to keep the Edinburgh-based firm out of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for three years.

In another related development, Cairn Energy Plc today said it will pay all taxes due, both in India and the United Kingdom, on the $8.48 billion it will gain from selling a majority stake in its Indian arm to Vedanta Resources.

"We will pay all the taxes (due) in UK and India," Mr Gammell said here today.

Averaged across both countries on the gross proceeds, "It will be in the low teens. What is paid will be determined eventually by the final proceeds," he said.

He did not elaborate, but analysts said the 'low teens' being referred to by Mr Gammell may be the 13%-14% tax liability on gross proceeds of the sale.

If Cairn Energy was to eventually sell only 40% out of its 62.38% stake in Cairn India for $6.65 billion, the combined tax liability in India and UK would be around $868 million. But if it was to sell 51% for $8.48 billion, the tax liability would be $1.1 billion.


Govt studying order quashing clearance granted to Lafarge

New Delhi: The government is studying the green tribunal order quashing clearance granted to French giant Lafarge promoted Rs900 crore integrated cement plant in Himachal Pradesh, reports PTI quoting environment minister Jairam Ramesh.

Stung by criticism of his officials doing a "shoddy job" while approving the project in Mandi district, Mr Ramesh said all aspects will be looked into in detail.

"We are studying the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) order revoking the environment clearance to the Lafarge's project. Appropriate action will be taken in the matter," the Union minister told PTI.

The ministry may too have to reject the clearance to the project in the wake of the adverse NEAA order.

The NEEA had recently quashed the green licence granted by the environment ministry to the cement complex comprising a cement plant with a capacity of 3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and 2 mtpa of clinker, and a captive limestone extraction mine with a capacity of 3 mtpa.

In its order, the tribunal ruled that the plant threatens the agriculture-based local economy and the nearby Majathal Wildlife sanctuary, which is just five km away from it.

However, criticism of the Expert Appraisal Committee (which analyses the environment impact assessment, or EIA, and forwards its recommendations for a final decision to the ministry) by the appeal body has come as an embarrassment for the Union minister.

Mr Ramesh at various fora has been promising to ensure transparency and consideration for environmental and livelihood concerns of the locals while approving any project.

Putting halt to any activity at the site, the NEAA order also slammed the ministry and its EAC for not having correctly assessed the impact of the project on land, water and air, and failing to appreciate its affects on the livelihood of the people in the area.

The observation came after a visit by an investigation team set up by the appellate at the proposed site when it found that the environment impact assessment report did not sufficiently reflect the opposition of villagers and the "dispossession, impoverishment and trauma" attached to their displacement.

The NEEA in its order said, "Taking into consideration all the relevant aspects, the authority is convinced that on environmental and social considerations, it is neither desirable to mine the Talehan village nor put up the cement plant in Ghanger."

The NEAA is a single-member appeals body created by an act of Parliament.

The environment ministry had granted clearance to the integrated cement plant and captive limestone mine project in June 2009 but it was challenged by the locals alleging that they were not taken into confidence nor their livelihood was taken into consideration while approving the plant.

The NEAA noted that the company had only got the consent of 16 out of the 381 landowners so far and its claim that the mining area was not cultivable was untrue.


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