Bharti denies SA firm's $3.1 bn damages claims

Bharti Airtel, India's top mobile operator, said there were no notices or details of any legal action by South Africa's Econet seeking damages in related to its ownership in Nigerian Unit of Bharti.

According to media reports, citing a suit filed by Econet on Wednesday, the South African firm is seeking at least $3.1 billion in damages from Bharti in a dispute over ownership of Airtel Nigeria.

However, Bharti said claims were "grossly untrue and misleading".

"All such baseless claims are bound to be fully rejected. We have full faith in the Nigerian legal system,"  the company said in a statement.

In 2010, Bharti bought African operations of Kuwaiti company Zain, that included 65 per cent of Zain Nigeria, which is now renamed as Airtel Nigeria.

A Nigerian court ruled on 30 January that Bharti's ownership of the unit was "null and void" because Econoet, a 5 per cent shareholder and a co-founder had not been consulted in related to the share sale.