BSNL IPO in a year's time; will raise $10 bln

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New Delhi, Jan 14 (UNI) State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) today said it plans to raise about 10 billion dollars through its Initial Public Offer, which is expected to come out in a year's time.

''Up to 10 per cent dilution will be made that will raise about 10 billion dollars (about Rs 40,000 crore),'' said BSNL Director (Finance) S D Saxena.

The market valuation of the telecom giant is about 100 billion dollars, he added.

Talking about the size of the IPO, Mr Saxena said, ''10 billion dollars can be a good size to test the market that will set the benchmark for going global.'' The IPO will take a year's time and the process will be initiated in 2-3 month's time. ''The government will take the final call as this is a state-owned company,'' Mr Saxena said.

The fund will be used for expansion of network and services.

''We have enough funds to fulfill immediate requirements but the funds will help us in our future expansion of network and services,'' Mr Saxena said.

He added that this was the most appropriate time to launch an IPO with huge amounts of Foreign Direct Investment coming in.

UNI SBA SR HS1428

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