Three rating agencies downgrade Vodafone Idea in 2 days

Mumbai: Telecom major Vodafone Idea’s survival is under serious doubt as the company’s ratings have been downgraded by three major rating firms within a span of just two days. Shares of Vodafone Idea (VIL), however, closed 5 per cent higher at Rs 4.40 a share on the BSE.

After India Ratings, Brickwork Ratings and Crisil on Thursday downgraded Vodafone Idea’s rating on non-convertible debentures of Rs 3,500 crore citing lower likelihood of any relief from the government after the Supreme Court did not grant any relief in respect to the modification request filed by the telcos.

According to official sources, VIL paid Rs 1,000 crore to the Department of Telecom on Thursday. The company has dues worth Rs 53,000 crore, which includes up to Rs 24,729 crore of spectrum dues and another Rs 28,309 crore in licence fee.

With the government mulling the possibility of invoking bank guarantees of the telcos to recover the statutory dues, Vodafone Idea chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla on Tuesday met Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash on the AGR payment issue after paying Rs 2,500 crore on Monday.

The company had urged the court that the bank guarantee deposited with the government by Vodafone Idea should not be encashed. Birla has maintained that without relief on the AGR payout, it may not be possible to continue as a going concern.

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