3rd player talks affecting trades in telco shares

MANILA, Philippines — Shares of telecommunication companies PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom have been negatively affected by speculations of a third telco player coming in, while share prices of companies that may possibly benefit from the entry of the much-awaited third player have been on the rise.

Shares of Now Telecom, for instance, rallied by 1.81 percent at the close of the 2017 to finish at P2.82 per share from just P2.2 per share last Oct. 25.

Now Telecom of Mel Velarde has expressed interest in joining the government’s planned auction of surrender and recalled spectrum frequencies, the National Telecommunications Commission earlier said.

 EasyCall Communications Philippines likewise saw its share price rise by 5.71 percent at the end of 2017 to end at  P18.50 per share. Last Sept. 25, this was just at P3.25 per share.

Traders attributed the increase in the share prices of these two companies to the possible partnership with Chinese or foreign telco players that are interested in entering the Philippines following President Duterte’s call for the entry of a third telco player.

Share prices of PLDT, chaired by tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan and Globe Telecom, on the other hand, have seen significant declines.

PLDT closed the year at P1,480, flat and significantly lower than June 15, 2017’s level of P1,900 per share.

Globe, meanwhile, closed 2017 at P1,900, lower than the P2,228 closing price last June 7.

Aside from Chinese telecom players, four other companies from Japan, South Korea, US, and Australia are interested to partner with local firms and become a third telco player in the country, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said.

DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio Jr. said in a recent briefing Telstra Corp. Ltd. of Australia is interested in entering the Philippine telco market.

President Duterte has invited Chinese telco companies to invest in the telco industry to break the duopoly and provide more options for consumers.

The DICT and the NTC are planning to conduct the bidding for the available frequencies within the first three months of 2018.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/business/2018/01/02/1773751/3rd-player-talks-affecting-trades-telco-shares?nomobile=1

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