Fitch Affirms Bharti Airtel at 'BBB-' with stable outlook

For stable outlook, it said that it expects recovery in Bharti Airtel's Indian mobile segment and continued growth in Africa and the enterprise segment.

Fitch Affirms Bharti Airtel at 'BBB-' with stable outlook

New Delhi: Ratings firm Fitch Thursday affirmed Bharti Airtel's credit rating at 'BBB-' with stable outlook, citing around 31-33 percent revenue market share despite intense competition and expectations of recovery in its mobile business.

"Bharti's ratings are supported by its diversified and integrated business profile, with operations spanning the mobile, fixed-line, digital TV, tower and enterprise sectors in India as well as mobile operations in 14 African markets. It has held on to its Indian mobile revenue market share of around 31-33 percent despite intense competition," Fitch said in a statement.

BBB' ratings indicate that expectations of default risk are currently low. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered adequate, but adverse business or economic conditions are more likely to impair this capacity. The suffix minus indicates chances of a rating downgrade.

For stable outlook, it said that it expects recovery in Bharti Airtel's Indian mobile segment and continued growth in Africa and the enterprise segment.

"We believe that Bharti's management is committed to an investment-grade rating and we expect the company to further reduce debt through an equity issuance by its African subsidiary and the sale of a stake in its tower subsidiary," Fitch said.

The rating agency said it expects Bharti Airtel to repay debt using the proceeds from an equity issuance worth USD 750 million by its African subsidiary and the stake sale in the combined Indus Tower and Bharti Infratel, both in second half of ongoing financial year.