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Vodafone Idea stocks zoom, BSE seeks clarification

Vodafone Idea (VIL) saw a sharp surge in its stock price on the BSE over reports that the government is unlikely to invoke its bank guarantees for now.

At noon, its shares were trading at Rs 4.08 a share, higher by 35 per cent after surging nearly 50 per cent on Wednesday.

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.

Taking note of the surprise surge in its stock price, exchanges sought a clarification from the company.

“The exchange sought clarification from Vodafone Idea Ltd on February 19 with reference to significant movement in price, in order to ensure that investors have latest relevant information about the company and to inform the market so that the interest of the investors is safeguarded,” the company informed in an exchange filing.

On Tuesday, Vodafone Idea’s scrips closed 11 per cent lower after India Ratings downgraded its rating on non-convertible debentures of Rs 3,500 crore citing stress on the company’s near-term liquidity after the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Vodafone Idea 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.

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