The Department of Telecom (DoT) has approved Bharti Airtel's proposal to approve up to 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bharti Airtel from the 49 per cent it allowed earlier.
"The company has received the approval from DoT vide its letter dated January 20 for increasing the limit of foreign investment up to 100 per cent of the paid-up capital of the company," Bharti Airtel said in an exchange filing on Tuesday.
The approval would enable Bharti Airtel to raise more funds from foreign investors to pay for statutory dues, network expansion and for spectrum auction payments in case it bids.
Airtel has to clear statutory liabilities of up to nearly Rs 35,586 crore, of which Rs 21,682 crore are towards licence fee and another Rs 13,904.01 crore are spectrum dues.
As per extant rules, 100 per cent FDI is allowed in the telecom sector, while 49 per cent is allowed through the automatic route.
The approval, read together with the RBI approval dated July 3, 2014, granted to the company, allows the FPls /Flls to invest up to 74 per cent of the paid up capital of Bharti Airtel, the company said.
Bharti Telecom is the single largest shareholder in Bharti Airtel with about 41 per cent stake. Singtel owns 48 per cent in Bharti Telecom, which gives it a 35 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel.
Foreign investors such as Indian Continent Investment Ltd, Viridian Ltd and Pastel Ltd together own 21.46 per cent stake in the company.