As a result of a decision by the department of telecom to count direct as well as indirect investment, Bharti Airtel's foreign direct investment (FDI) has shot up to 74 per cent, the upper limit permissible by the government. Promoted by Sunil Mittal, Bharti Airtel is India's largest cellular operator, with Bharti Airtel holding a majority stake at 45.38 per cent.
Vodafone and SingTel have a 5.62 per cent and 15.6 per cent direct stake respectively in Bharti Airtel, while the FIIs hold 22 per cent and the rest is held by NRIs, OCBs, Indian MFs, Indian FIs, Indian insurance companies and banks etc. SingTel's total 31 per cent stake in the company includes the 15.6 per cent held directly. 15.4 per cent is held indirectly by the company.
While raising the FDI ceiling from 49 per cent to 74 per cent, the government had clarified that this new calculation would be inclusive of direct and indirect investments. Meanwhile, the same change has also raised the FDI of Hutchison-Essar to 68 per cent.