Reliance Communications taken off Sensex

A day after TelecomLead reported that telecom major Reliance Communications had fallen to fifth place among the Top 10 wireless service providers
in India, in terms of revenues which are currently pegged at Rs 43507.10 million
according to TRAI, RCOM and R-Infra were taken off the top 30 elite index on
the BSE, replaced by Coal India and Sun Pharma.

RCOM and R-Infra belong to the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), and the changes will be effective from August 8, according to the BSE.

RCOM has registered among the lowest ARPU holders in the country at INR 116, following a steep and steady decline from its ARPU of INR 340 in 2008. The group has also come under fire for playing an integral role in the 2G spectrum scam – termed by some as one of the worst scams in Indian history in terms of revenue loss.

RCOM has also been under pressure to recover from its debt crisis – which was only enlarged by the 3G spectrum fees, and inability to find a taker for its tower assets – although there has been some interest on that front recently. RCOM is now paying of a loan of US$ 1.93 billion to China Development Bank to cover the debt.

Over the last one year, RCOM has lost nearly 50 percent of its value to Rs 95 on the BSE, while R-Infra also lost over 50 percent to reach its current level of Rs 580. One of the top companies to have replaced Tata Power on the BSE in 2006, after it was demerged from Reliance Industries, this development will no doubt have a further

negative impact on the telco.

Adding more fuel to the fire, RCOM chairman, Anil Ambani’s personal email was also reportedly hacked into, by unidentified schemers posing as a Bloomberg reporter known to Ambani. Details of the hackers and their interest behind the hacking-in are yet unknown.

 By Beryl M

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