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Technology / Networks

Vodafone to keep Airtel stake and expand in India

UK mobile operator Vodafone has announced that it will not sell its 4% stake in Bharti Airtel, and will continue to invest in its Indian operations to battle the global slowdown.

Vittorio Colao, chief executive at Vodafone, said: We have the 4% stake in Bharti Airtel, and one day we will discuss what to do with it. We have clearly formulated our strategy: one goal, four pillars which include strong cash generation; chase growth opportunities in mobile data, enterprise services, and broadband services; deliver in emerging markets; and reward shareholders. India is the jewel of our international markets expansion.

In November Vodafone cut its full-year revenue outlook but said it would maintain profits and free cash by cutting costs by 1 billion pounds ($1.48 billion).

Last month, it lost its petition in the Mumbai High Court challenging a retrospective change to Indian tax law after it received a $2 billion tax bill following its acquisition of a 67% stake in mobile operator Hutch in 2007. The company said it will appeal against the ruling in the Supreme Court of India.

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Vodafone is India’s third largest operator with about 61 million subscribers at the end of December.

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CBR Staff Writer

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