Vodafone may increase stake in Bharti - report

Vodafone Group may increase its 10% equity stake in Indian telecom company Bharti Tele-Ventures, a Dow Jones report, quoting a Bharti spokesman and local media, said.

The Dow Jones report said the spokesman confirmed in a report carried by India's Business Standard that the mobile operator might look to increase its foothold in the Indian telecom market in the medium term by taking a larger stake in the company.

The Business Standard also quoted Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin as saying that the company might increase its stake in Bharti Tele-Ventures as it aimed to double its share in emerging markets over the next five years, the Dow Jones report said.

The report said Sarin told the newspaper that emerging markets accounted for 15% of Vodafone's business.

This was likely to become 30% in the next five years, with India playing a major part in expansion plans, the Dow Jones report said.

The CEO, however, said Vodafone had no plans to pick up a stake in any other Indian telecom company, according to the report.