Friday, June 23, 2017

Courtesy Reliance Jio, Indian telecom sector earnings outlook worst among global peers: StarMine

The Indian telecom sector's aggregate earnings are expected to fall by nearly 70 per cent in the next 12 months, according to data from Thomson Reuters StarMine.

Indian telecom firms are reeling due to disruptive tariff plans from new entrant Reliance Jio, backed by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani and his vehicle Reliance Industries.

The earnings decline would be the worst among its global peers, the data shows.

To restrict customer churn to Jio, telecom companies have slashed tariffs, severely denting their bottom lines. The heads of India's leading wireless carriers are meeting India's telecom minister on Thursday, to discuss a range of issues that include the competitive environment and stressed balance sheets.

Almost all of India's mobile operators posted a loss in the first calendar quarter of 2017, with the sole exception of Bharti Airtel, which managed to eke out its smallest quarterly profit in four years.

The falling profits also leave the companies with fewer resources to service their debt obligations, which have swelled after the recent airwave auctions. Reliance Communications Ltd , the telecoms vehicle of Mukesh Ambani's younger brother Anil Ambani's group, has been one of the hardest hit and negotiated a reprieve on its loans this month.

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