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Telecom stocks surge on tariff hike buzz

Mumbai: Led by Idea Cellular, telecom stocks surged by up to 10.60 per cent on the BSE today after Bharti airtel hiked mobile tariffs by up to 20 per cent for pre-paid users using certain packages in several circles, triggering anticipation that other firms may follow suit.

Shares of Idea zoomed up by 10.60 per cent to touch a 52-week high of Rs 94.35 on the BSE. Similarly, Reliance Communications jumped by 6.73 per cent to touch an early high of Rs 99.85.

Bharti touched a one-year high of Rs 424.95, up 3.40 per cent from its last closing price.

“The move is extremely positive for the sector and Bharti’s tariff hike could be a sign of revival in industry tariffs going forward. This will also boost the operators’ earnings,” Ashika Stock Brokers Research Head Paras Bothra said.

Following the hike, users of airtel’s ‘Advantage’ and ‘Freedom’ pre-paid tariff packages, which are based on per minute billing, will have to pay 60 paise per minute for local and STD mobile-to-mobile calls, airtel had said. Earlier, the calling rate under these packages was 50 paise per minute.

India is the world’s second-biggest mobile market after China. Bharti, the fifth-largest mobile operator globally by subscribers, operates in 19 countries in South Asia and Africa.

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