Telecom stocks in focus; Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea gain upto 7%

The pricing per se of JioPhone Next is not disruptive given the slew of smart phones already available in Rs 5,000-7,000 range, said ICICI Sec in a note

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Shares of telecom service providers gained up to 7 per cent on the BSE in Monday’s intra-day trade after RJio launched the much awaited JioPhone Next. Jio Platforms (“Jio”), a majority-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL).

JioPhone Next will be made available from November 4. The device is priced at Rs 6,499. However, the company is offering customers EMI options starting at Rs 300 per month with a down payment of Rs 1,999.

According to ICICI Securities, the pricing per se is not disruptive given the slew of smart phones already available in Rs 5,000-7,000 range as well as current mix of Rs sub 3,000 phone and sub Rs 100 ARPU paid by existing lower strata of 2G users. “We expect Jio move to target ARPU upgradation as well as retention of its own existing low cost JioPhone users,” the brokerage firm said in a note.

Following the announcement, the stock of RIL was down 1 per cent at Rs 2,515 on the BSE in today’s intra-day trade, after hitting a high of Rs 2,555 in opening trade today. The stock has corrected 8.5 per cent from its 52-week high of Rs 2,750 touched on October 19, 2021.

Among the other telecom stocks, Bharti Airtel gained 5 per cent at Rs 722.60 on the BSE. At 09:25 am; it was trading 3 per cent higher at Rs 706, as compared to 0.23 per cent rise in the S&P BSE Sensex.

With reference to news reports on Hon'ble Supreme Court's order regarding refund of excess GST paid by Bharti Airtel, the company has clarified that the Hon'ble Supreme Court, has maintained that the company has the freedom to avail the amount of Rs 923 crore as Input Tax Credit in the subsequent returns, which the company had duly done.

The matter pertains to 2017, when GST had just been introduced, and the company paid excess cash towards GST to the tune of Rs 923 crore instead of utilizing the available Input Tax Credit, as there was no automated reconciliation available at that time, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

Shares of Vodafone Idea soared 7 per cent to Rs 10.23 on the BSE in intra-day trade. Currently, the stock was trading 4 per cent higher at Rs 9.93.