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Bharti Airtel to hit overseas debt market to raise funds

India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel Ltd is looking to raise funds from foreign investors via issuance of 10-year US dollar dominated senior unsecured notes, according to a stock market disclosure.

The notes are expected to be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, it added, but did not disclose the size of the issue.

The telecommunications major recently participated in high-pitched spectrum auctions, which in turn increased its debt pile.

As on March 31, 2015, the company’s consolidated net debt was reported at $10.7 billion.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services and Fitch have assigned 'BBB-' long-term issue rating to the proposed issuance, while Moody's has assigned Baa3 rating.

With operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, Bharti Airtel ranks amongst the top five mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. China Mobile is the world’s largest telecom operator both in terms of customer base and revenue.

Bharti Airtel has made several overseas expansion moves in the past including its buy of Zain's African assets that has in turn stretched its balance sheet.

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