PLDT Inc. (PLDT) is proposing to issue US dollar-denominated senior unsecured notes, which S&P Global Ratings gave a BBB+ long-term issue rating.
On Monday, the telecommunications company told the stock exchange that it was offering investors 10- and 30-year dual tranches of the senior bonds subject to market conditions.
“We expect the company to use the proceeds to refinance debt maturing in 2020 and 2021, prepay outstanding loans, and partially finance capital expenditure,” the credit rating firm said.
As of end-March, PLDT has P205.3 billion worth of unsecured debts.
About 40% of these are held at the subsidiaries’ level. “This is below the 50% priority debt ratio threshold, over which we consider senior unsecured lenders at the parent level may be disadvantaged in the event of financial stress,” S&P noted.
With the credit rating, S&P sees a “limited” rating headroom for PLDT.
Capital expenditure is seen to remain elevated over the next few years as the company improves its network coverage, capacity to support higher mobile data traffic, and last-mile connectivity for home broadband services.
Moreover, S&P noted an increased competition in the Philippine telecommunications scene with the upcoming entry of a third-player, Dito Telecommunity Corp., in the first half of 2021.
The listed company tapped Credit Suisse and UBS as joint lead managers and joint bookrunners to arrange the investors’ call on June 15.
Meanwhile, PLDT’s enterprise group launched its latest package of connectivity and digital solutions for businesses resuming operations in the so-called “new normal.”
Beyond Fiber is a set of curated digital tools ranging from productivity and collaboration tools to e-payments and e-commerce solutions, coupled with premium fiber Wi-Fi service.
“Digitalization has now become critical for businesses that want to survive and thrive under the challenging conditions created by the COVID (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic,” Jovy I. Hernandez, ePLDT president and chief executive officer, said in a press statement.
He said Beyond Fiber was designed “to equip businesses with digital solutions tailor-fit to the growing needs of today’s enterprises.”
The business package offers a fiber link with speeds of up to 50 megabits per second. Customers can avail of two Wi-Fi routers for both business and private use.
It also offers productivity tools by Microsoft 365, collaboration tools via MS Teams, and appointments scheduling through MS Bookings.
Moreover, Beyond Fiber protects work devices from cyberattacks through ePLDT’s Endpoint Advanced Security and provides secure and private connections via Cisco Meraki Z3. It also enables online payments through PayMaya.
The new service package is priced at P2,500 a month.
“We will have more in the months to come,” Mr. Hernandez said about the solutions initially lined up under Beyond Fiber. — Adam J. Ang