Vodafone to invest heavily in India

January 19th, 2009 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) British telecom giant Vodafone Monday said it will continue to invest heavily in India. “We see an addition of eight to nine million mobile subscribers here. This means India needs more investment. We will continue to invest more as there are opportunities here,” Vodafone Plc chief executive Vittorio Colao told reporters on the sidelines of a Confederation of Indian Industry conference here.

“We still have four percent stake in Bharti Airtel. One day we (Vodafone and Bharti Group) will discuss what to do with it,” he said, adding: “To have a discussion on any issue we need to have both the partners.”

Vodafone, which earlier held a 10 percent stake in Bharti Group, had exited it partly, while its indirect stake in the group’s mobile arm, Bharti Airtel, remained.

Colao also called for more clarity in India’s foreign investment policies across different sectors.

Exuding confidence in India’s growth potential, he said India should extend a welcoming hand to foreign investors in order to attract much-needed capital to keep growth on track. According to him, a “suitably regulated yet liberal policy environment” would be beneficial for India’s growth prospects.

Vodafone last year acquired a controlling stake in the Hong Kong-based Hutchison in a $1.2-billion deal to take control of Vodafone Essar - which is the second largest GSM operator in India in terms of subscribers.

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