SINGAPORE (June 2): The billion-dollar IPO of NetLink Trust looks to have taken a step closer to reality.

In a Friday night regulatory filing, Singtel announced that the Singapore Exchange has issued its conditional eligibility-to-list letter for the public listing of NetLink Trust on the Mainboard.

NetLink Trust designs, builds, owns and operates the passive infrastructure for Singapore’s Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NextGen NBN).

On Feb 9, Singtel, Southeast Asia's largest telco, announced it had started preparations for the public listing after Singtel agreed to divest its stake in NetLink Trust, a 100%-owned associate of Singtel, to less than 25% ownership by April 22, 2018.

(See: Singtel posts 2% rise in 4Q earnings to $963 mil; NetLink Trust IPO making 'good progress')

Under the structural separation requirements for the NextGen NBN drawn up by IMDA, Singapore's regulator for the infocomm and media sectors, Singtel will not have effective control in NetLink Trust.

Last November, Singtel was reported to have hired three banks to manage the IPO, which was valued at up to US$2.5 billion ($3.6 billon), according to Reuters.

(See also: NetLink briefs analysts on $2 bil IPO as fees cut)

(See also: Singtel hires three banks for up to US$2.5 bil NetLink IPO, says IFR)

These were DBS Group, Morgan Stanley and UBS AG, said Reuters, citing people close to the deal.

In its filing, Singtel added that the listing will be subject to, among other things, market conditions, the relevant regulatory and other approvals being obtained.

Shares of Singtel closed 1 cent higher at $3.81.