Sovereign Wealth Funds Said to Be in Talks to Back O2 Deal — Some of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, including the China Investment Corporation, Singapore’s Temasek and G.I.C. and one of Qatar’s big government-sponsored vehicles, are said to be in talks to provide financial backing for Hutchison Whampoa’s $15 billion acquisition of Telefonica’s British mobile business, according to a report in the Telegraph that cited unidentified sources.
Archive for the ‘Telecoms’ Category
Oxymorons, both. Yet why do S’poreans buy into both?
The day before I read Ho Kwon Ping’s speech*, the following conversation occurred on Facebook between friends
One friend asked another friend on her views on buying a Samsung Galaxy note 4 here. The first friend has daughter working here.
My other friend replied
If she doesn’t already have a plan that she is locked into .. she shld jus sign up for one or recontract if it’s due for renewal. The subsidy for the fone is pretty gud. I only paid S$48 for my note4. I use Singtel even tho I have endless issues with them but I feel it is still better than the other 2 telos we have here.
When it comes to voting for the PAP, 25- 35% of S’poreans, I suspect think like her. Plenty of problems with PAP (like Singtel’s service, the PAP’s servant-leadership sucks). But then there are compensations (like bullying bullying hooligans like Roy and H3: no human rights BS for them; low taxes**; can leave doors unlocked even when no-one in the house; uncongested roads, safe streets etc etc).
And what are the alternatives to the PAP? The Worthless Party that doesn’t to become the governing party, even in coalition with other oppo parties (only loyal courtier leh); SDP whose leader can still go wacko (remember Dr Chee’s remarks about Punggol East); and even NSP (a sensible party after Goh Meng Seng*** moved on and started sliming it) can do strange things. NSP is KPKBing about nothing impt (a lawyer, I’m told, refuses to declare how rich rich she is). Makes one want to weep.
Coming back to SingTel: I couldn’t help but think “Singtel screws footie fans but gives peanuts to disabled?” when I in July I read , Singtel announced yesterday a donation of S$1.1 million to SG Enable, an agency which provides services for disabled people, with the money going towards the setting up and running of the Enabling Innovation Centre (EIC).BT 23 July.
Remember the cost of EPL and World Cup footie.
*”Is Ho Kwon Ping saying all that much? 15 years from now means 2029/30. That’s at least three general elections away!” was posted on facebook by a friend.
**Don’t buy into the BS that CPF is a tax. It has elements of a tax (think retention, limited use and pay now, get back in future when value is deminished), but until the day one the govt stops monies in CPF account being inherited in cash, tax it ain’t. Sorry to disagree with Uncle Leong. I respect or agree with many of his views, but not on CPF being a tax.
***Goh Meng Seng can contradict himself in same paragraph.
It is truly enlightening to see that BOTH people from the “Third World” and “First World” places like Malaysia and Hong Kong are shunning Singapore for “retirement”. But as Singaporeans, do we have a choice at all? We are born in Singapore and we have little choice but live, retire and die in Singapore. However, under PAP rule, we are going to suffer, after decades of contributing to Singapore’s development, we will die poor, having to be forced to sell off our HDB flat for our retirement.
But then he says:
I guess the ultimate aim of PAP has been leaked before, they wanted us to retire in JB (Johor Bahru)!
So waz this about … as Singaporeans, do we have a choice at all? We are born in Singapore and we have little choice but live, retire and die in Singapore.
Come on Goh Meng Seng, think before write. Or at least read back what you just wrote, a second ago.
And we do have a choice to retain our citizenship and live abroad in our old age. M’sia and the Philippines have “silver-hair” programmes fot foreigners. I also know of S’poreans who have sold off their HDB flats and moved onto NZ, Oz and Canada.
As you are personally aware (having sold yr HDB flat to fund the NSP’s campaign in 2011), the high prices of HDB flats gives options to many S’poreans. Whether they take advantage of it, is up to them. If they die, die want to remain here, they have to accept whatever govt, the majority of their fellow S’poreans prefer. At the moment, 60 — 70% prefer the PAP. And with anti-PAP activists like you and the person you advised, Tan Kin Lian, who can blame them?
In the space of a few days, the govt is facing or is likely to face uncomfortable questions from other govts about its activities: activities that the usual suspects, could reasonably argue, show the two-timing nature of the PAP govt that they (they the usual suspects) detest and wish it all the ill-will in the world.
Malaysia said it will summon Singapore’s high commissioner today to respond to allegations of spying which risk damaging improved political and business ties between the Southeast Asian neighbors.
Indonesia and Malaysia have been key targets for Australian and U.S. intelligence cooperation since the 1970s, facilitated in part by Singapore, the Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday, citing documents leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. Malaysia’s foreign ministry said it was “extremely concerned” and had already acted against earlier claims of espionage by the U.S. and Australia.
The reports could also spur friction between Singapore and Indonesia, Tan said. “The Indonesians would probably be concerned whether the information is also being shared with Singapore intelligence, besides the Australians*.”
As SingTel was singled out for mention by the Oz newspaper**, and as it has extensive mobile operations in Indonesia and Thailand, and a major stake in a major Indian telco, it could face problems in these countries.
Then there is the issue of how European and US cos are using S’pore to avoid taxes, at a time when there is growing resentment among politicians and voters that these cos are not paying their fair share of taxes. The Indian, Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean govts will also not be too happy too with S’pore’s corporate tax-regime if they read the Economist.
“Taxing times for Singapore as corporate strategy faces scrutiny” was a Reuters headline on 24 November 2013 (BT and Today carried the report too). It gave details of how Apple used S’pore as a tax-saving centre and went on, “Companies justify booking significant amounts of revenue and profits in Singapore by the fact they often run key business functions such as finance and operations, hold intellectual property rights there or base regional executives in the city.”
The chart below (via the Economist) shows a hypothetical scenario where a company moves its headquarters from Singapore (a very low-tax economy) to another country. http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2013/11/corporate-tax-rates
S’pore very cheap place (tax wise) esp compared to Japan. Minister Zorro must be happy: juz as happy as looking as his monthly CPF statement.
The Reuters article went on: Singapore has so far largely stayed out of the debate raging in Europe and the United States about the ways multinationals try to lower their tax bills.
But revenue-hungry governments are looking to impose tougher rules on so-called transfer pricing that could make it harder for firms to trade goods, services or assets between their Singapore and overseas entities.
As a result, accountants warn that the city-state will need to review the level of transparency in its tax incentive schemes and get stronger justifications from companies on their transfer pricing arrangements to fend off challenges from other jurisdictions.
“Singapore’s challenge is to ensure that it stands ready to adequately address any kind of unilateral tax action taken by other countries,” said Abhijit Ghosh, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Singapore.
“In this brave new world of fiscal competition for the tax dollar, dispute resolution will be on the increase and Singapore will need to focus more resources on enforcing and defending its principles of value creation in international forums.”
The city-state’s government says it is against artificially contrived arrangements constructed “solely for the purpose of flouting or exploiting loopholes in tax rules”, according to a spokeswoman from the Ministry of Finance.
However Singapore is also arguing that it should not be singled out because it has low tax rates.
“We must guard against new forms of protectionism masquerading as tax harmonisation,” the spokeswoman said. “We should avoid converging on high taxes globally as this would only hurt growth and jobs.”
Looks like the owl that visited PM was a harbinger of bad news for PM.
Seriously, the “usual suspects” could reasonably argue, if they tot about it, that the “chickens are coming to roost”.and that while moralising on adultery, the PAP govt helps the ang mohs spy on our neighbours, while helping ang moh and other Asian cos avoid tax. And PritamS wants the WP to be in coalition with the PAP?
*Remember that Indonesia suspended military co-operation with Australia, after allegations emerged of Australian spies bugging the phones of the president and his inner circle.
**Access to this major international telecommunications channel***, facilitated by Singapore’s government-owned operator SingTel, has been a key element in an expansion of Australian-Singaporean intelligence and defence ties over the past 15 years.Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/new-snowden-leaks-reveal-us-australias-asian-allies-20131124-2y3mh.html#ixzz2lkSC0P8c
***SEA-ME-WE-3 cable as well as the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable that runs from Singapore to the south of France.
In its latest set of results announced a few weeks ago, the profit contribution from regional associates climbed 14% to S$552 million in the quarter on higher results from Indonesia, Thailand and India, the company said.
SingTel gets 12% of its profit before tax from India and 22% from Indonesia, with those earnings in future likely to take a hit when translated back into Singapore dollars. Remember too the weakish A$, Baht, and Filipino peso will affect its earnings.
Other Asean round-up news
At an emergency meeting on Aug. 29, the monetary authority raised its benchmark and overnight deposit rates. It’s a decision Bank Indonesia should have made at its last official gathering less than two weeks ago. An obsession with economic growth stayed its hand. http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2013/08/29/currency-markets-rude-wakeup-call-stirs-indonesia/
Politics is back on the streets in Thailand, after a relative lull of more than two years, with a protest over the weekend. It underlines the persistence of divisions in Thailand and raises the prospect of a return to the political turmoil that left more than 90 people dead in Bangkok in 2010.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered in a vacant lot in Bangkok on Saturday, as speakers threatened to “overthrow” the government.
The acrimony between the Democrats and the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra centres on a number of legislative issues, chiefly an effort by the government to pass an amnesty law for those involved in the 2010 protests.
The Democrats oppose the Bill, saying it might also apply to those who insulted the monarchy or committed serious crimes.
But the broader conflict appears to stem from their feeling of powerlessness in the face of the resurgence of Thaksin Shinawatra, Ms Yingluck’s brother, who sets the broad policy lines for the government and the Pheu Thai Party despite living abroad since 2008 in self-imposed exile to escape corruption charges.
The weekend protests followed another peaceful one earlier this month involving some 2,500 supporters of the Democrat Party and royalist groups at Bangkok’s Lumpini Park, throwing fresh light on Thaksin’s divisive influence in Thailand.
(Extract from NYT)
Malaysia‘s government is exploring the possibility of hiking the real property gains tax to rein in rising housing prices and curb speculation in the market. Bernama quoted Housing Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan as saying that current property tax levels had failed to stabilise house prices with the house price index continuing to rise.
Malaysia’s GST will take 14 months to implement if announced in the budget in October, a ministry official said
The Philippines posted better-than-forecast economic growth, fuelled by its services sector and higher consumer and government spending. Its economy grew 7.5% in the April to June quarter, from a year earlier. It is the fourth quarter in a row its economy has expanded by more than 7% – defying a regional trend which has seen growth slow down in many countries. The Philippines’ 7.5% second-quarter growth matched that of China but is higher than Indonesia, Vietnam or Malaysia,
However, the country has been hurt in recent weeks by investors pulling out of the region’s emerging economies. This despite under emerging mkts, given the follow of remittances from workers overseas, it will not have to worry about investors’ outflows unlike other mkts.
Japan’s All Nippon Airways has said it will acquire a 49% stake in Asian Wings Airways, an airline based in Burma..
The Japanese airline will pay 2.5bn yen (US$25m) for the stake.mIt is the first time a foreign carrier has invested in a Burmese-based commercial airline. It currently operates domestic flights to all major tourist destinations in Myanmar.It t plans to “extend its wings to regional destinations through scheduled flights as well as chartered ones”.
In Vietnam, the government’s planned sale of a 20% in Sabeco, a brewery, is expected this year, according to bankers.
Wilmar, one of Asia’s largest agribusinesses, and Cargill, the commodities’ trader are setting up in Burma.
18 companies, including Malaysia’s Axiata, Norway’s Telenor Group, parent of the Thai mobile operator DTAC, Digicel, the Caribbean based operator, and two Singaporean companies, Singapore Telecommunications, one of southeast Asia’s biggest telephone companies, and ST Telemedia, a unit of Temasek Holdings, have submitted proposals for the two telecoms licences
The Burma has abolished a 25-year-old ban on public gatherings of more than five people: more liberal than S’pore.
Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) has made a US$100 million capital injection into its Philippines operations.The banking group, the fourth largest in the region, on the previous Friday launched a new corporate head office in Manila and announced plans to double its number of branches in that country to 100 by 2014, and thereafter to 200 by 2018, Malaysia’s Business Times said.
It currently has 54 branches there, with another expected to open in the city of Davao by the end of this month.
Maybank Philippines Inc (MPI), which has been operating since 1997 and is now the 24th largest bank by assets, may eventually go for a listing there. The Philippine central bank had last year issued a directive, requiring banks controlled by their foreign counterparts to go for a listing on the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Indonesian private equity firm Northstar Group is expanding into take-private deals, agreeing to buy a majority stake in Singapore-listed Nera Telecommunications and offering to buy the entire company for around US$146m
Norway’s Eltek ASA said it has agreed to sell its 50.1% in Nera to Northstar, part-owned by TPG Capital, a major US private equity firm for S$88.8 m (US$72.6 mn) or S$0.49 a share. Northstar will extend the same offer for the remaining shares in a mandatory unconditional cash offer.
Ward Ferry Asia Fund returned almost 16% in the first seven months, according to the July newsletter that Hong Kong-based Ward Ferry Management estimates that PT Tower can double its profits in the next three years partly because Indonesia has half of the number of towers per capita as the U.S. and has been increasing them at 26 percent a year since 2006, according to the letter. The stock is up 18% since June 1 to Aug 15.http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-16/ward-ferry-asia-hedge-fund-returns-16-this-year-beating-peers.html
Why MNCs and int’l investors are giving India a miss while still liking the other “I”: Indonesia.
Seven international trade associations have written to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh criticising a new tax proposal under which even 50-year-old corporate deals could be scrutinised.
The proposals were announced as part of India’s federal budget last month.
The associations warned that the firms they represent could reconsider their business ventures in India.
And the cancellation of telecoms’ licences doesn’t help.
DBS issued a “Buy” on KT&T last week when it traded at S$1.32. The interesting fact is that the stock is trading at a 35% discount to DBS’ sum-of-the-parts-based target price of S$1.65. Too bad yield is only 2.65%.
The Next Generation National Broadband Network and growth in cloud computing are fuelling demand for data-centre space in Singapore. Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (Keppel T&T) is the only listed player in Singapore with significant exposure to data-centre business and is among the top five players in Singapore.
Besides, Keppel T&T is positioned to benefit from the increasing trend of logistics outsourcing to third-party players in China and South-east Asia. The recently acquired Keppel DigiHub data centre in Singapore and the newly built Nanhai Distribution Centre in China are the key growth drivers for 2011.
Keppel T&T has set up a dedicated fund (initial closing of US$100 million) to invest in Syariah-compliant data centres globally in an alliance with Saudi Arabia-based Al Rajhi Holding Group. Ever since the appointment of new management in January 2010, Keppel T&T is focusing on growing its data centre and logistics business with less emphasis on the legacy business of network engineering.
Core business is deeply undervalued. Excluding M1, Keppel T&T’s core business is trading at only 6x estimated 2011 full-year earnings, based on our conservative estimates. Global data centre players such as Equinix and Digital Realty Trust trade at 40-50x earnings, reflecting higher growth in the sector. Initiate with ‘buy’ for 35 per cent upside potential to our sum-of-the-parts-based TP of S$1.65.
The iPhone is only 4% of the mobile phone market, in sales terms,
But it accounts for 50% of the profits of this market.
Like other brokers, OCBC is bullish for next yr. But there are some picks that are unique to OCBC.
Our picks for 2011 are Ascott Residence Trust, Biosensors International Group, CapitaLand, DBS Group Holdings, Ezra Holdings, Genting Singapore, Hyflux, Pacific Andes Resources Development, Keppel Corporation, Mapletree Logistics Trust, Noble Group, Olam International, Sembcorp Marine, StarHub, United Overseas Bank, United Overseas Land and Venture Corp.
At least, they are locals. The only FT runs Oz ops.
Not unlike DBS, where FTs run amok.
Kinda strange that the authorities here have outsourced to FIFA and its commercial agent S’pore’s competition law when it comes to the media . How come the StarHub and SingTel joint bid was allowed by the competition authority? Or is it the anti-competition authority?
Although SingTel and StarHub were planning for a joint bid, Fifa eventually awarded them individual non-exclusive broadcast rights instead, the telcos revealed.
Joint bids are frowned upon as it could set a precedence for other broadcasters to follow suit and thin the coffers from media licensing.
(Part of BT report)
Was told by two eminent persons, one lawyer and another an economist, that many sectors or industries are exempted from the competition laws. They have unprintable views on these exemptions.
Media is exempted from the act, and comes under the purview of Media Development Authority. A third person, not so eminent, in fact downright obscure and usually unreliable, tells me that MDA does not do anti-competition. Witness its refusal to step in when StarHub had EPL exclusively. Only the row over the price SingTel paid, got it thinking how to have proper competition policies.
Some time back, China Mobile agreed to buy 20% of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank for 39.8 billion renminbi (US$5.8 billion) to expand its electronic payment business.
The reason for the telco to buy such a big stake in a bank: China Mobile and Pudong Bank will form a strategic alliance to offer wireless finance services including mobile bank cards and payment services, according to a statement filed with the HKSx.
Wonder if the corporate communications departments of TLCs, M1, SingTel and Starhub have filed away this excuse. Their company might need to adapt it if it ever has to buy a stake in a bank in the Temasek stable.
In late March according to a Reuters report, Bank of China, China’s fourth largest bank, said it was in talks with Temasek, to set up a rural business bank in China. The bank under discussion would have 40-60 branches, President Li Lihui told reporters at a media briefing to discuss Bank of China’s 2009 results
Now wouldn’t such a bank need wireless expertise and don’t StarHub and SingTel love to do dumb things? Fooie fans still don’t know if we will get World Cup coverage.
“Bharti has tied up US$7.5bn of loans through Standard Chartered, Barclays and a roster of other international banks to fund its $10.7bn bid, which includes $1.7bn of Zain debt. The State Bank of India has also promised up to $1bn more to cover associated deal costs. At a reported interest rate of 2 percentage points over Libor, Bharti is being charged less than many investment grade companies would expect to pay”, FT reports.
So Bharti is on track in its purchase of Zain. And SingTel will have exposure to Africa.
The bad news is that Thailand’s government will present a plan in two months to “create a level playing field” for telecom firms, including possible compensation for changes to concessions, said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Prosecutors will also make a decision on whether to seek damages over royalty payments to state-run TOT from Advanced Info Service, Thailand’s biggest mobile phone company that was owned by former PM Thaksin Shinawatra via Shin.
But SingTel and Temasek will be comforted that the Finance Minister said: “Whether there will be retroactive pursuit of fees forgone by the government from the company is unlikely. I don’t feel that it would be fair to go after shareholders of these companies for adjustments in the concessions that were made by the previous owner.” Remember AIS is an associate of SingTel and Temask has a 79% economic interest in Shin that is AIS’s controlling shareholder.
The concession of True Corp, Thailand’s third-biggest mobile operator, is set to expire in 2013. AIS’s expires in 2015 and Total Access’ in 2018. Each firm negotiated amendments to the original concessions, which the government’s legal advisory body said in 2007 failed to comply with the law.
More bad news: SingTel’s and StarHub’s joint bid for World Cup footie has been rejected. Footie fans will know who to blame if SingTel doesn’t cough up more (don’t see why StarHub would). If it does, it will lose money. Peanuty amounts but still money.
Makes me ashamed to be from RI. The CEO is an RI gal. RI boys don’t do such dumb things, only RI gals.
Other than Shin, Temasek’s track record when buying stakes in Asian telcos has been very gd. The Indosat stake was sold in 2008 for a gain of a not peatnuty S$223 million.
So as a S’pores (remember that the CEO says that Temasek belongs to us), I’m glad to see that Temasek has in the last few weeks taken stakes in two other SE Asian telcos.
Singapore Technologies Telemedia (ST Telemedia) acquired a 33% stake in Malaysian 3G operator U Mobile, the two companies said in a joint statement last Monday week. ST Telemedia (a 100% Temasek subsidiary) is paying 625 million ringgit (US$189 million or S$263 million) for its stake in U Mobile. U Mobile is the smallest M’sian telco.
And in the previous week, ST Telemedia announced it was buying a 10% stake in VNPT Global, a subsidiary of Vietnam public telecommunications group VNPT. A VNPT official said the deal was valued at 20 billion dong, a peanuty S$1.5million (thereabouts) as Mrs SM might have put it (she didn’t)
Pro-Thaksin demonstrators have reach Bangkok ahead of a rally today (Sunday). The government has deployed about 40,000 security personnel. The Internal Security Act has also been invoked, giving the military extra powers to impose curfews and restrict numbers at gatherings.The last major protests, in April last year, turned violent, with two deaths and dozens of people injured.
This protest comes after the Supreme Court ruled that former PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s family should be stripped of more than half a contested US$2.3 billion. The court said US$1.4 billion of the assets were gained illegally through conflict of interest when Mr Thaksin was prime minister. The funds were frozen after Mr Thaksin’s elected government was overthrown in a military coup in 2006.
He, who is living abroad, has denied any wrongdoing.
The Economist reported two issues ago: “The court’s verdict exposes Mr Thaksin and his family to a range of civil and criminal charges. Prosecutors may go after members of his cabinet and officials accused of helping Shin Corp. The government can also try to claw back lost revenue from Shin Corp, and particularly its lucrative mobile-phone unit, AIS.”
Readers will be aware that SingTel has a 21.4% stake in AIS. No wonder Shin’s executive chairman and acting president Somprasong Boonyachai said to BT two weeks ago (juz after the court’s verdict) that Temasek could divest its stake in Shin Corp if the right buyer comes along.
Maybe Temasek is prepared to cut loss? It lost abt US$4.6 billion on Merrill Lynch so a loss of around US$655 million (assuming that its interest in Shin is only 42%, and not the 79% economic interest that some analysts have calculated) would be “Peanuts” as Mrs SM might have put it, though she did not. I mean waz US$655 million when you dropped US$4.6 billion?
Time to call John Paulson? He is the hedgie who bot BoA (that bot ML) when Temasek was selling.
But on Friday that same Thai said Temasek had no plans to sell its stakes in Shin or in satellite unit Thaicom. Either he is the Thai version of Gopalan Nair or Temasek has changed its mind in two weeks
Anyway, the repercussions of the Shin deal go on and on https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/better-at-destabilising-than-investing/
BTW a conspiracy theorist or one who practices the art of guessing what is going on behind the scenes: dietrologia in Italian, literally “behindologypoint”, has argued that the Shin purchase was a gd deal that went wrong because of the coup.
A Pakistani (you know how mad they can be) of my acquaintance has connected the dots between these three indisputable facts
1 When Thaksin was PM he had proposed spending 1.7 trillion baht between 2006 and 2010 (then US$47 billion) on mass transit systems, water pipelines, communications technology and other projects to boost the economy and improve the country’s infrastructure.
2 TLCs have the expertise to do these projects.
3 Thaksin has been found by the Thai courts to be venal.
My mad Paki wonders aloud if someone might have tot of the billions of $ that TLCs could from the Thai government win if Shin was bot at a more than fair price? Note that the price was so fair to shareholders that brokers recommend that they sell to the consortium
I told him S’pore Inc. does not bribe: if we did we would be more successful than Taiwanese and Hongkies in China. He pointed out that S’poreans learn from their mistakes.
Update 15 March 4.30 am
Tens of thousands of Thai opposition supporters have rallied in Bangkok and gave Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva until Monday afternoon to call fresh polls. They vowed to demonstrate across the capital if he refuses to do so. The government insists it will not stand down and has tightened security.
I read a media report that some analysts were querying when it didn’t invest in Africa direct, rather than allow Bharti to buy Zain’s African assets. My tot,” what weed are these analysts on?”
Well for starters, the Indian govt would not be impressed with SingTel, Temasek and the S’pre govt if SingTel used its32% in Bharti to flow Bhart’s African ambitions which have the Indian govt’s blessing. Remember India thinks it has to counteract China’s grow influence in Africa.
And Bharti wants Africa. It made two attempts to merge with MTN,Africa’s largest telco.
If SingTel tried to use its 32% stake in Bharti to kill Bharti’s African ambitions, SingTel, Temasek and the S’pore govmin would be the losers, just like us footie fans because the EPL bid has caused FIFA to raise the price of World Cup footie for us.
Then also SingTel’s mgt expertise is in developed couuntries — Little Red Speck and the Lucky Country. Its ventures in India, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Bangladesh: countries which once in trlco terms are like Africa today are thru associates where mgt are in the hands of experienced local mgrs who are not SingTel employees. Zain is selling out partly because it can’t make serious $ in Africa. Africa generated about 45% of group revenues in the first nine months of last year but only 10% of net profits. Its managerial experience like that of SingTel is in developed telco mkts.
And would straight-laced, conservative SingTel be able (or want to or would we want it) to deal with cowboys in chaos. Example: The privatisation of Nitel, Nigeria’s former state telecoms monopoly, is in a mess. The Nigerian government found itself arguing with some of the preferred bidders over whether they had, in fact, bid at all. China Unicom – named as part of the winning consortium – said “it had not started any negotiations with respect to any substantive and legally binding agreements. It said its unlisted parent had not had any direct discussions with parties to the proposed privatisations. It said the European arm had been “in contact with potential bidders” for Nitel but did not name them,” according to the FT. At first, Unicom said it knew nothing of the bid.
Nope better for SingTel to let Bharti do the work. With all its experience, its share price is 11% down since the annc. of the Zain deal. Clearly there is some concern.
If we don’t get to see the World Cup, SingTel will have a massive PR crisis on its hands in its home mkt. It doesn’t need Africa to add to its woes.