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Spectrum Payouts and Network Capex to Keep Telcos FCF Negative
Oct 19,2016

Telecom companies exercised a balanced approach in the recent spectrum auctions, however the purchase of spectrum and non-spectrum linked capex will keep free cash flows (FCF) of the telecom operators negative, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). There were no major surprises in the spectrum auction and as expected by Ind-Ra spectrum bidding was rational, therefore Ind-Ra maintains its outlook on the sector as n++Stable to Negativen++. There were no takers for the pricey 700MHz band and 900MHz, while active participation was seen in the 1,800Mhz and 2,300MHz bands, and the most active participants were Vodafone India (Vodafone; emerged as the highest bidder) and Idea Cellular Ltd (Idea). Each operators spectrum acquisition strategy was to ensure data capacity build up, which was indicated by the bigger block spectrum acquisition in the higher bands of 2300MHz/2500MHz.

As against the INR5.6trn valuation at reserve price, only INR657.89bn was realised. The winning prices were moderately higher (upto around 15%) than the reserve prices. The most steeply priced 700MHz representing 72% of the total reserve price remained unsold. Ind-Ra believes that the rationalisation in prices of 700MHz is a pre-requisite for its successful auction in future, given the strong divergence of views between operators and the regulator.

The immediate concern for the auction winners will be to put in place an optimal funding mix to meet the upfront (INR320bn) and subsequent staggered payments. Incumbent operators have the existing balance sheet strength to raise funds from the domestic or global markets. However, identifying the right long term funding mix to optimise the cost of funds and the monetisation of non-core assets to reduce the debt burden will be crucial for the credit profile. Upfront payment needs to be made within 10 calendar days from the issue of the demand notice (namely 10 October 2016).

Funding for the new spectrum will be a combination of equity and debt for all players. Vodafone raised equity of INR477bn, which will be used for the upfront spectrum payment and also support additional capex. Idea has incremental capex plan of INR10bn post the spectrum acquisition, and its upfront payout for the spectrum will be part-debt funded given its moderate cash balances (1QFY17: INR7.8bn). Bharti Airtel Ltd had INR20.5bn of cash and equivalents at end-1QFY17; hence part debt funding could be used for the upfront spectrum payment.

Ind-Ra expects debt burden to rise for the top telcos, with the increase in spectrum and non-spectrum debt capex. In addition to the upfront spectrum payouts in FY17, network capex needs to be ramped up, which will keep FCF negative. Ind-Ra believes that the benefits of higher data volumes trickle down impact on revenue growth will be back ended. The launch of life-time free voice calls by Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio) has threatened the major contributor of telcos revenues, namely voice calls. Ind-Ra thus expects RJios entry strategy to squeeze operational cash flows of the sector in FY17-FY18.

Idea reported negative FCF (post capex and spectrum payment of INR11.8bn) in FY16. Bharti had a positive FCF of INR148bn in FY16, mainly supported by INR57bn sale proceeds from tower assets and INR67.7bn from sale of investments.

As Ind-Ra had highlighted in the report, the bidding strategies revolved around augmenting 4G capability, and data centric bands (1,800Mhz/2,300Mhz) saw high traction. In line with Ind-Ras forecast, Bharti and RJio focused on plugging in spectrum gaps, while Idea and Vodafone focused on strengthening their position in key circles. The 800MHz band was taken up by RJio to fill in the gaps in Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (East) circles. Bharti and RJio bought most of the data-centric 2,300MHz spectrum band, whereas Idea and Vodafone bought most of the 2,500Mhz spectrum band. Vodafone strengthened its presence in its existing circles and also increased 4G capability to 17 circles from the earlier nine, while Idea has increased its presence to 20 circles from 11 earlier.

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Container Corporation Of India to hold board meeting
Oct 19,2016

Container Corporation Of India will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 15 November 2016 to consider approval of Un-audited Financial Results & Segment wise Revenue, Results & Capital Employed for the quarter and period ended on September 30, 2016 (Q2).

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Astec Lifesciences to hold board meeting
Oct 19,2016

Astec Lifesciences will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 27 October 2016 to consider and approve the Standalone and Consolidated Unaudited Financial results for the Quarter and Half Year ended September 30, 2016 .

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PVR to hold board meeting
Oct 19,2016

PVR will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 27 October 2016 to consider and approve Un-audited Standalone and Consolidated Financial Results of the Company for the second quarter and half year ended on September 30, 2016 (Q2).

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Kushal Tradelink to hold board meeting
Oct 19,2016

Kushal Tradelink will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 14 November 2016 to consider and approve the Un-Audited Financial Results (Standalone & Consolidated) for the Quarter/Six months ended September 30, 2016,to consider and declare 3rd Interim Dividend on Equity Shares for the Financial Year 2016-17 and other ancillary business related to the same.

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Tuni Textile Mills to hold board meeting
Oct 19,2016

Tuni Textile Mills will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 10 November 2016 to consider Un-Audited Financial Results (Provisional) for the 2nd quarter ended on September 30, 2016 (Q-ll) for the financial year ended on March 31, 2017.

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La Opala RG to hold board meeting
Oct 19,2016

La Opala RG will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 10 November 2016 to consider and approve the un-audited Financial Results of the Company for the second quarter ended September 30, 2016.

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NTPC to hold board meeting
Oct 19,2016

NTPC will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 28 October 2016 to consider, approve and take on record the un-audited financial results of the Company for quarter and half-year ending September 30, 2016, after these results are reviewed by the Audit Committee of the Board (Q2).

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Ananthis International Bakers to hold board meeting
Oct 19,2016

Ananthis International Bakers will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 27 October 2016 to Consider the Un-Audited Quarterly results of the Company for the Period Ending September 30, 2016.

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Deltron to hold board meeting
Oct 19,2016

Deltron will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 29 October 2016 to consider and approve Unaudited Financial Results of the Company for the quarter and half year ended September 30, 2016.

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DB (International) Stock Brokers to hold board meeting
Oct 19,2016

DB (International) Stock Brokers will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 28 October 2016 to consider, approve and take on record the Unaudited Financial Results tor the Second Quarter (Q-2) ended on September 30, 2016.

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South India Paper Mills to hold board meeting
Oct 19,2016

South India Paper Mills will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 27 October 2016 to consider and to take on record the Unaudited Financial Results of the Company for the quarter / half year ended September 30, 2016.

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Board of TV Vision approves change in company secretary and compliance officer
Oct 19,2016

TV Vision announced that the Board of Directors of the Company at its meeting held on 19 October 2016 considered and accepted the resignation of Jyotsna Kashid as Company Secretary & Compliance Officer with effect from 18 October 2016. The Board approved the appointment of Nirali Shah as Company Secretary & Compliance Officer with effect from 19 October 2016.

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Caplin Point Laboratories to hold board meeting
Oct 19,2016

Caplin Point Laboratories will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 9 November 2016 to consider, approve and take on record the Un-audited Financial Results for the quarter/half year ended September 30, 2016.

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Binny Mills to hold board meeting
Oct 19,2016

Binny Mills will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 27 October 2016 to consider and approve the unaudited financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2016.

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