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Singtel posts first ever quarterly loss on Bharti charge

A Singtel booth is pictured at the Money 20/20 Asia Fintech Trade Show in Singapore

(Reuters) - Singtel on Thursday posted a second-quarter loss of S$668 million ($491.29 million) hurt by a one-time charge recorded by India's Bharti Airtel.

Bharti Airtel said it made a provision of 284.50 billion ($3.99 billion) rupees after India's Supreme Court last month upheld a demand by the telecoms department that wireless carriers pay 920 billion rupees in overdue levies and interest.

Singtel, Southeast Asia's largest telecoms firm, reported a 3% rise in underlying net profit to S$737 million for the quarter.

Singtel is the biggest shareholder in Bharti Airtel, with an effective stake of about 35%.

(Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely)