Indian shares squeezed after Bharti’s African bid

INDIAN shares fell 0.7 per cent yesterday, with Bharti Airtel sliding to its lowest close in more than two months as investors gave a thumbs down to its $10.7bn (£6.8bn) bid to buy Kuwaiti Zain’s African assets.

“Bharti dampened the sentiment today,” said Vaibhav Sanghavi, director of Ambit Capital.

Investors were concerned Bharti may have offered a high price that could strain its earnings over the near term.

Bharti, India’s leading mobile operator, began exclusive talks with the Kuwaiti telecom company for a deal that would give it a foothold in a largely untapped region, after it twice failed to reach an agreement with South Africa’s MTN Group. Bank of America-Merrill Lynch cut Bharti to “underperform” from “buy”.