Bharti Airtel to issue 10-year, dollar bonds in Singapore

Bharti Airtel, India’s biggest telecom company, will raise funds by issuing ten-year, dollar-denominated bonds, the company said in a statement.


The bonds are expected to be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, it said.

They will be senior debt, but will be unsecured against the company’s assets.

Bharti Airtel recently completed a long-drawn spectrum auction in India, and has massive debt. The company made several overseas expansions over the past five years, which has also stretched its balance sheet.

Meanwhile, Moody’s said that the proceeds from the notes are likely to be used for capital expenditure.

“However, as the company has committed to applying excess cash flows to debt reduction, this will not result in an increase in leverage. At the same time, this transaction will extend Bharti’s debt maturity profile, which is credit positive,” says Annalisa Di Chiara, a Moody’s Vice President and Senior Analyst.

For the fiscal year ended 31 March 2015, Bharti’s Indian operations reported solid year-over-year growth (yoy) of 12% in revenue and 23% in EBITDA.

Data services in particular reported strong growth with a 30% yoy increase in the company’s data subscriber base, with 3G base increasing 90% yoy.

Businesses in India accounted for about 70% of consolidated revenue and 81% of reported EBITDA in FYE03/2015.

Meanwhile, currency movements against the dollar in FYE03/2015 negatively impacted the company’s African businesses, as demonstrated in a 14% yoy contraction in EBITDA.

On a constant currency basis, revenues expanded 6% while EBITDA contracted 8% yoy. However, Moody’s still views favorably the ongoing growth in subscribers in the African operations and the expansion of its mobile data revenue base, pointed out Moody’s, a ratings agency.

Bharti’s adjusted consolidated leverage metrics for FYE03/2015 remained relatively stable at around 3.0x.