Axiata to buy Pakistan telecom towers firm for $940m

Tower firms in Asia have been expanding by buying infrastructure from carriers. (Reuters)
Updated 30 August 2017
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Axiata to buy Pakistan telecom towers firm for $940m

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian telecommunications firm Axiata Group’s infrastructure unit is buying telecom towers in Pakistan for $940 million in partnership with a local conglomerate, in what will be one of the biggest deals in the South Asian nation.
Axiata subsidiary Edotco Group Sdn Bhd and its Pakistani partner Dawood Hercules Corp. will acquire Deodar, the tower unit of Pakistan Mobile Communications, which will add more than 13,000 towers to its portfolio.
The purchase will see Edotco emerge as the world’s eighth-largest independent tower firm and the second-largest multi-country tower operator, with a portfolio of about 40,000 towers across six countries.
Tower firms in Asia have been expanding by buying tower infrastructure from carriers, who, in many cases, are aiming to cut debt and focus on their core business.
“The acquisition of Deodar is a critical part of our growth strategy and ambition to position Edotco as the leading independent telecommunications infrastructure services provider in Asia,” Edotco CEO Suresh Sidhu said in a statement on Wednesday.
Sidhu told a media conference later that the acquisition, Edotco’s biggest, is part of its strategy to focus on assets in South and Southeast Asia, according to the recording of the conference reviewed by Reuters.
The deal, expected to be completed in the fourth quarter, would rank as one of Pakistan’s five biggest deals, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Edotco has previously said it aimed to become Pakistan’s largest independent tower firm. In June, it bought Pakistan’s Tanzanite Tower Pte for $90 million in a deal involving about 700 towers.
Axiata owns 62.4 percent of Edotco, which in recent months raised $700 million from Malaysia’s $28 billion Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP), sovereign wealth fund Khazanah and Innovation Network Corp. of Japan.
The acquisition of the Deodar towers unit will be funded using $600 million raised via debt and the remainder via equity and is expected to immediately add to Axiata’s earnings, according to the statement.


Philippine central bank holds overnight borrowing rate steady

Updated 13 December 2018
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Philippine central bank holds overnight borrowing rate steady

  • The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas left the rate on its overnight reverse repurchase facility unchanged at 4.75 percent

MANILA: The Philippine central bank held its benchmark interest rate steady on Thursday, as expected, in line with the outlook for the inflation rate to cool.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas left the rate on its overnight reverse repurchase facility unchanged at 4.75 percent, as predicted by 11 out of 13 analysts in a Reuters poll.
The central bank raised rates by a total 175 basis points at the past five consecutive meetings to tame inflation, which eased for the first time in nearly a year in November to 6.0 percent.