Telecom stocks fall after Reliance Jio cuts tariffs

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Shares of Indian telecom service providers fell on Wednesday after Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd cut tariffs to counter bigger rival Bharti Airtel Ltd’s revision in data plans.

Jio, the telecom arm of Reliance Industries Ltd, said on Tuesday the revision was “a response to Airtel’s tariff changes”, which would help it maintain “its price leadership”.

Bharti Airtel, India’s No.1 mobile carrier, revised its data plans earlier this week. Airtel shares declined as much as 6.22% to Rs461.5 on Wednesday, their lowest since 18 October 2017.

Idea Cellular Ltd, India’s third-biggest telecom network operator, dropped as much as 5.7% to its lowest since 18 December 2017 ahead of its quarterly results later in the day.

Debt-ridden Reliance Communications Ltd slipped as much as 2.2%.

Reliance Jio entered India’s highly-competitive telecom market in late 2016 and disrupted the space with free-voice and cut-price data plans, forcing rivals to match its tariffs and dragging their margins lower.livemint