Telenor Planning To Self-Finance Indian Ops By 2013-End

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New Delhi: Norway's Telenor, today said it is aiming to self-finance its Indian operations by end of 2013 through a restructuring program. Telenor's India operations - through joint venture company Uninor - has run into problems as its 22 licenses were among the 122 2G licenses cancelled by the Supreme Court in February this year.

Besides, Telenor is fighting at loggerheads with its JV partner Unitech on issues including differences over valuation and future funding of Uninor. Telenor, in a investor presentation, said it is reallocating resources and "targeting self-financing operation by end of 2013."

An auction of the spectrum vacated by cancellation of 122 licenses has now been extended to January 11, 2013. "No clarity on auction timeline and conditions... Operational restructuring to speed up cash flow break even through focus on nine best performing circles and re-allocation of resources," the presentation said.

Uninor has already said it will scale down operations in four telecom circles, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Odisha, while sharpening focus on nine other areas in view of continuing uncertainty over spectrum auction. These nine include UP East, UP West, Bihar and Jharkhand, Kolkata, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai, Maharashtra and Goa and Gujarat.

However, the company has said that it may not get licenses for all its planned circle areas in India, depending on the result of the upcoming spectrum auction. Telenor chief financial officer Richard As said the company could end up with fewer than nine circles. Uninor had registered an operating loss of 619 million Norwegian krone in the April-June 2012 quarter against that of 1.2 billion Norwegian kroner in the same period last year.

At the end of June 30, 2012, Uninor had 45.57 million subscribers, as per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India data.

Source: PTI
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