PLDT to borrow to refinance maturing obligations
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - June 18, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Telco giant PLDT Inc. may borrow from banks later this year to refinance maturing obligations amounting to $400 million next year.

“If ever, towards the tail end, dealing for next year,” PLDT chief financial officer Anabelle Chua said when asked if the telco and digital services provider would undertake a  fundraising exercise this year.

She said PLDT may borrow from banks about $400 million to refinance maturing obligations of PLDT and wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. next year.

For this year, she said PLDT has already raised the amount needed to fund capital expenditures.

Last month, PLDT raised about P10 billion from the sale of its 6.8 million shares in Rocket Internet when the European internet company conducted a buyback of shares.

The sold shares are equivalent to a 6.1 percent stake in Rocket.

Following the transaction, PLDT has about two to three percent stake left in Rocket worth P5 billion.

PLDT invested in Rocket in 2014.

Chua said PLDT also raised about P7 billion from receivables from the sale of the company’s stake in Beacon Electric Asset Holdings Inc. to Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

PLDT expects to spend P58 billion for capex this year, the highest capex set ever by the firm.

Of the capex this year, a large part or 53 percent would be spent for the fixed network business amid growing demand for digital services.

PLDT plans to expand the coverage of the fiber-powered broadband network to have five million homes passed this year.

As of the first quarter, PLDT’s fiber service reached 4.4 million homes.

PLDT expects to maintain this year’s capex level for next year, as well as in 2020.

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