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In apparent bungle, NSDL clarifies 100% foreign ownership limit for Airtel

At around 9:30am on Wednesday, the National Securities Depository Limited updated the Foreign Investment Limits for listed companies on its website indicating that Airtel’s foreign ownership limit would be raised from 49% to 100%. But at around 11am, the NSDL silently updated the report, which was ironically posted under a URL containing the term StaticReports, and clarified that though Airtel had received approval for raising foreign ownership limit to 100%, the company could only raise foreign funds up to 40% under the automatic route.

We have reached out to NSDL for comment on the mix-up.

Shortly after the initial announcement Airtel’s stock fell from the peak it had attained from earlier this morning , reducing the gains it made on the back of favourable results announced on Tuesday. “The said approval is subject to certain conditions which are in the process of being complied with and the overall foreign investment limit, for the time being, shall be monitored at 49%,” NSDL’s updated document said.

Source: NSE India Indexes, via Google

“Questions should be asked of how can an organisation, whose record keeping determines make-or-break trades and investments, make such mistakes/changes,” BloombergQuint’s markets editor Niraj Shah said. NSDL is a national securities depository organisation. Its supports the Indian financial markets by providing investors and brokers with depository system, wherein financial securities like stocks are bond are held similar to funds held in bank accounts.

With inputs from Advait Palepu.

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