Decision on 2G auction participation only by October: SSTL

September 10th, 2012 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) Monday said it would be able to say only next month if it would take part in the 2G auction as the company is waiting for an acceptable decision from the Indian government on its investment in the country.

“The key thing that we are waiting for is how the government is trying to protect our investment,” Vsevolod Rozanov, president and chief executive officer of SSTL told reporters here.

“Sometime in October we will be able to decide if we will participate or not. We are yet to hear from the government what amicable solutions are there. We are looking at a way out of this situation,” he added.

The auction following Supreme Court’s order cancelling 122 telecom licenses is scheduled to begin Nov 12 and the companies interested in the auction have to submit their applications by Oct 19.

SSTL Monday declared its second quarterly results, which showed the company’s loss widening to Rs.1,180 crore for the quarter ended June 30. It had posted a loss of Rs.657.5 crore during the like period of the previous year.

“SSTL’s net income during the quarter suffered from the adverse movement in exchange rate resulting in recording of forex losses with respect to Long Term Foreign Currency denominated loans, as rupee depreciated considerably against the dollar during the quarter,” said SSTL chief financial officer Sergey Savchenko.

However, the consolidated revenues increased 2.6 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs.417.7 crore, while total wireless subscriber base, including voice and data, for the quarter grew by 4.9 percent to 16.60 million.

The company which is focussing on retaining its customers and controlling its expenses to optimize cash outflow also said that it was a difficult time for business.

“Business case is extremely difficult now and every month this is adding to it,” Rozanov said.

Two firms - Etisalat and STel - have already announced exit from the Indian telecom market.

SSTL has over 16 million customers and employs 7,000 employees. It has an investment of over $3.2 billion.

SSTL, which is a joint venture of Russia’s telecom giant Sistema and India’s Shyam Goup, also said that there will be many diplomatic visits in October which could likely be followed by a visit by President Vladimir Putin in November.

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