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Malaysia's Axiata, Bharti Airtel To Merge Subsidiaries

The merger of Robi Axiata Limited and Airtel Bangladesh Limited, components of the respective companies, will create an entity called Robi

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Axiata Group Bhd, Malaysia's largest mobile operator by market value, and Bharti Airtel Ltd, India's largest telecom operator by subscribers, agreed to merge their subsidiaries in Bangladesh, said Axiata on Thursday.

The merger of Robi Axiata Limited and Airtel Bangladesh Limited, components of the respective companies, will create an entity called Robi. The deal is expected to be completed by the first half of 2016, said a press statement by Axiata.

Axiata will hold a 68.3 percent stake in Robi, while Bharti will hold 25 percent. The remaining 6.7 percent stake will be held by existing Japanese shareholder NTT DOCOMO.

Bharti Airtel on Thursday posted an over 22 per cent fall in its net profit at Rs 1,117 crore for October-December, dragged down by higher finance costs and charges for network upgradation as also the restructuring activities in some countries.

The company had registered a net profit of Rs 1,436 crore for the corresponding quarter last fiscal, Airtel said in a statement.

India's largest telecom player said its bottomline was hit by exceptional items that include a charge of Rs 115.2 crore towards operating costs on network refarming and upgradation programme, Rs 231.3 crore on restructuring activities in some countries and interest costs, among others.