Singtel rebuffs report of Bharti stake sale

Singtel retail outlet at Tiong Bahru PlazaSingtel retail outlet at Tiong Bahru Plaza; photo taken pre-Covid

Singtel rebuffed media reports suggesting it was considering selling part of its stake in Bharti Airtel.

“We would like to make patently clear that we have been strategic investors in Airtel for decades and it remains a core investment in our international portfolio,” Singtel said in a filing to SGX Friday. “As for the media hearsay, we do not comment on market speculation and abide by market disclosure rules pertaining to material transactions.”

Singtel said it was referencing a Business Times report Thursday, which pointed to an Economic Times of India report citing unnamed sources as saying the Singapore telco was planning to sell a Bharti Airtel stake valued at up to US$2 billion to Bharti Telecom. It’s not the first time rumours of Singtel cutting its stake in Airtel have surfaced in India; in mid-2021, the Economic Times reported Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal “emphatically” denied any planned stake sales.

Singtel held around 31.76 percent of Airtel, as of October 2021.