Reliance Communications Ltd’s shares plummeted on Monday, after the company posted a fourth straight quarterly loss as it struggles with a heavy debt load and a price war started by an upstart rival that has eaten into margins. The billionaire Anil Ambani-controlled telecom operator on Saturday said its net loss widened to 27.09 billion rupees ($414.95 million), compared with a profit of 620 million rupees a year ago.
Shares in the company, widely known as RCom, fell as much as 12.1 percent and were down 10.3 pct at 0424 GMT.
With net of debt of 443 billion rupees as of end-March, RCom is the most leveraged among listed Indian telecom companies.
The company has missed interest payments on two outstanding domestic non-convertible debentures, according to a filing with the stock exchange.
Its debt is partly a result of cut-price plans offered by Reliance Jio Infocomm, the newest telecom operator in India, controlled by Ambani’s elder brother and the country’s richest man, Mukesh.
Anil Ambani said in June that RCom had won a reprieve from bankers to pay off loans until the end of December, but the re-payment plan hinged on the success of two deals – merging its wireless business with rival Aircel and selling a stake in the mobile masts arm to Canada’s Brookfield. Both those deals have since fallen apart.