Qatari investor's stake sale hammers Bhart Airtel stock

The Bharti Airtel stock closed at Rs495.15, down Rs19.20  (-3.73 per cent) on information that a Qatari investor has put up a 5-per cent stake in the telecom major amidst an exodus of Qatari investors from the Arab country which is facing a boycott by its neighbours.

Three Pillars Pte Ltd, an affiliate of the Qatar Foundation, has put up for sale through stock market transactions about 199.9 million shares in Bharti Airtel to raise about Rs9,500 crore.

The sale is being carried out through stock market transactions at a price range of Rs 473-490 each, at a discount of 4.7-8 per cent to the stock's closing price on Tuesday, according to stock market data.

The price, however, is far higher than the Rs340 Three Pillars paid for the shares in 2013.

Bharti Airtel shares fell almost 6 per cent as more than 243 million shares changed hands in multiple block deals, according to reports.

Bharti Airtel shares, however, are still up about 60 per cent in 2017 even after the share fall.

Qatari firms have been hit hard by the sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt since early June and are cutting back investments to raise cash to safeguard an economy from the impact of sanctions.

The Gulf countries cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha on 5 June, accusing it of backing terrorism, which Doha denied.

Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, has pumped billions of dollars into local banks to shore up their deposits.

It has also reduced its stake in upscale jeweller Tiffany & Co, Russian energy giant Rosneft and Swiss bank Credit Suisse.

Rashed Fahad Al-Noaimi, CEO of investments at Qatar Foundation, is on Bharti Airtel's board.