Vodafone Idea (Vi), the financially beleaguered telecom giant under the Aditya Birla Group, extended its impressive rally to a second day, soaring 10% on Monday. This surge, following a 20% jump on Friday, has ignited hope among investors eagerly awaiting clarity on the company’s crucial fundraising plans.
Vi shares have witnessed a whirlwind of activity in recent sessions, with trading volume on Monday exceeding both the one-week and monthly averages by a significant margin. At the time of writing, over 109 crore shares have changed hands on the BSE and NSE combined, compared to a one-week average of 69 crore and a monthly average of 42 crore.
The stock’s performance stands in stark contrast to the broader market. While the frontline Nifty 50 index has gained around 12% over the past six months, Vi has delivered a mind-boggling 137% return to investors, more than doubling their wealth.
Sources close to the negotiations, speaking to Moneycontrol on condition of anonymity, cast a shadow on the optimism surrounding Vi’s fundraising. They suggest that the stock’s price surge over the past six months has unintentionally hindered the influx of fresh capital. Despite pronouncements from Vi management on an expected financial injection, negotiations with potential investors appear to be stalled.
Adding to the intrigue is the status of the Rs 2,000 crore commitment from Vi’s promoters, the Aditya Birla Group. CEO Akshaya Moondra, during the recent earnings call, acknowledged the letter of support from the promoters but confirmed that no funds have been received yet. While he reiterated their commitment and anticipated their contribution alongside external investor funding, the delay raises concerns about the firm’s immediate liquidity needs.
Vi’s financial landscape remains challenging. For the quarter ended September 2023, losses widened to Rs 8,737.9 crore, compared to Rs 7,595.5 crore in the same period last year. Revenue, however, saw a marginal increase to Rs 10,716.3 crore from Rs 10,614.6 crore. These figures highlight the pressure Vi faces in balancing revenue growth with operational costs and debt burden.
Despite the uncertainties surrounding fundraising, Vi’s stock price surge reflects a flicker of investor faith in the company’s turnaround potential. The success of its impending fundraising efforts will be crucial in determining its future trajectory. Additionally, Vi needs to demonstrate sustained revenue growth and effective cost management to justify the optimism fueling its recent rally.