* Shares in Bharti Airtel Ltd fall nearly 2 percent
after reports that the company could be asked to pay 6.5 billion
rupees ($116 million) for alleged breach of telecoms licensing
rules nearly a decade ago.
* Bharti was allowing roaming subscribers to make and receive
calls at local prices, which the telecoms ministry says bypassed
rules for national long-distance calls, according to an official
with knowledge of the matter. The services were allowed between
2002 and 2005, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
* A Bharti Airtel spokesman declined to comment saying the
company was yet to receive any notice from the ministry.
Typically, the telecoms ministry asks companies to first explain
why action should not be taken against them before sending the
* Carriers including Bharti have in the past challenged in
courts fees and penalties imposed by the government. The cases
are still on.
* Bharti shares were down 1.8 percent at 309.35 rupees in a
Mumbai market that eased 0.2 percent.
($1 = 56.1850 rupees)