Airtel sells 5% stake to Qatar Foundation
India's largest mobile phone operator, Bharti Airtel, announced on Friday that it has agreed to sell a five percent stake in itself to the Qatar Foundation Endowment (QFE).

The deal is worth $1.26 billion.

"I am delighted to welcome another high quality long-term institutional investor to our shareholder base," said Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti. "This strategic partnership with QFE demonstrates the confidence they have in the Company and our strategy for growth. In addition, this agreement exemplifies further strengthening of the already deep economic and cultural relations between Qatar and India. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with QFE."

The deal comes as the Indian telecoms firm looks to strengthen its finances.

Rashid Al-Naimi, acting chief executive of the QFE, said that the investment in Bharti was a long-term one.

"As a long-term global investor, our shareholding gives us exposure to a high growth sector in key emerging markets. QFE looks forward to supporting Bharti in realising the full potential of this world class business."


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