Singtel hires three banks for NetLink Trust IPO

Singapore Telecommunications has hired three banks as it prepares for an initial public offering (IPO) to divest more than 75 per cent of its wholly-owned fiber broadband network unit NetLink Trust.
Singapore Telecommunications has hired three banks as it prepares for an initial public offering (IPO) to divest more than 75 per cent of its wholly-owned fiber broadband network unit NetLink Trust.PHOTO: NETLINK TRUST

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Singapore Telecommunications said it has hired three banks as it prepares for an initial public offering (IPO) to divest more than 75 per cent of its wholly-owned fiber broadband network unit NetLink Trust.

Morgan Stanley, UBS Group and DBS Group Holdings are the advisers on the share sale, Singtel chief executive officer Chua Sock Koong said at a briefing on Thursday (Feb 9). The company said it's too early for details on the size or pricing of the proposed offering.

Singtel intends to meet the April 2018 deadline set by the regulator to reduce its stake in NetLink Trust to less than 25 per cent, the company said. It may use the proceeds from the share sale for capital management and investments, and could return any excess capital to shareholders, Chua said.

Profit contributions from NetLink Trust, along with its Indonesia and Philippine investments, helped offset declines from Thailand and India in the fiscal third quarter ended Dec 31, according to a statement to the Singapore Exchange. Net income contribution from NetLink Trust increased 42 per cent to S$32 million.

NetLink Trust's operating revenue and earnings grew at double-digit on increased fiber penetration in Singapore. The unit has 79 per cent of Singapore's residential wired-broadband market.

Singtel shares have climbed 6.6 per cent this year, compared with the 7.2 per cent gain in the benchmark Straits Times Index.