It’s impossible to miss the vast tracts of land owned by telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) in Mumbai’s western suburb of Borivali. In a city infamous for its congestion and general lack of space, state-owned BSNL’s wealth of property is the rarest of exceptions. Now, with the beleaguered telco fighting for its future, it is considering selling some of its landholdings. These include the barren 42.43-acre plot in Borivali, a 45-acre housing colony in Deonar, and a 3.5-acre plot in Juhu that boasts a guesthouse and a 12-storey residential building.
Encashing Fixed Deposits
BSNL’s asset monetisation plan faces stress test in realty market
Loss-making telco BSNL has the largest land bank of any public sector company in the country. Parlaying this into the funds it needs, though, will be an uphill task in a cash-starved real estate market
As the possibility of a duopoly looms in India's telecom sector, the government has approved a Rs 69,000 crore package to revive BSNL
As part of this, the ailing BSNL must raise Rs 20,000 crore from monetising assets, primarily its land and buildings
While the telco has prime property in some of India's largest cities, a real estate slump means it is unlikely to realise the true value of its land
Apart from land, BSNL may also seek to monetise its telecom assets such as towers and fibre