Vodafone Idea (Vi) is having a great time on the stock exchanges on Friday morning. At the time of writing, the telco's stock is trading for Rs 6.60 (9.09% up). The highest point that Vi's stock touched on Friday was Rs 6.65. This happened after the announcement of Vi, late on Thursday, that Kumar Mangalam Birla (KMB) is returning to its board as an additional director (non-independent and non-executive). The return of the Indian business tycoon to the telco's board has clearly sat well with the traders and investors.
Last time when he resigned as the Chairman in 2021, the telco's stock plummeted to Rs 4.55 apiece (24% down) in a day. Vi's stock still has a long way to go when it comes to recovery. Over the last few months, the value of the stock has dropped significantly because of declining performance in business and not being able to roll out 5G.
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Vi needs to arrange successful fundraising. That was the promise that the Aditya Birla Group (ABG) had made to the Indian govt so that the centre may go ahead and convert the dues to equity for itself. Indian govt is now the largest stakeholder in Vi. What the return of KMB to Vi's board would do for the telco will only be known after some time. For now, the market is cheerful for the telco. KMB is also the chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, a significant stakeholder in Vi.
Without a fundraise, Vi won't be able to meet its dues repayments and also will struggle to roll out 5G. KMB recently said that Vi will soon roll out 5G. But those words mean nothing without a fundraise. In case Vi doesn't launch 5G soon, the telco may have to return the 5G spectrum to the government as there are minimum rollout obligations that the telcos have to meet.