Local telco incumbents 'clearly have an edge' over new entrant at this juncture, says Maybank

SINGAPORE (Feb 7): Maybank Kim Eng is keeping “neutral” on Singapore’s telco sector on the belief that incumbent telcos have an edge in terms of subscriber in retention amid a “proliferation of new MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators)” as well as new mobile network operator TPG Telecom.

This comes post the research house’s survey of 150 telcos subscribers, out of which 81% said they stuck to their providers for more than 24 months.

StarHub fails to leave analysts star-struck after a dismal 1Q

SINGAPORE (May 4): Maybank Kim Eng and OCBC Investment Research UOB Kay Hian are maintaining their “hold” calls on StarHub with an unchanged price target and fair value estimate of $2.27 and $2.20, respectively, while UOB Kay Hian is reiterating its “sell” call on the stock with a target price of $2.25.

This comes after the group on Thursday reported its first set of results under the new SFRS 15 accounting standard, with 1Q18 earnings indicating continued competitive pressure on the wireless and pay TV businesses although this came largely in line with expectations.

StarHub's 1Q earnings fall 14.9% to $61.5 mil on lower sales

SINGAPORE (May 3): StarHub reported a 14.9% decline in 1Q18 earnings to $61.5 million from $72.3 million a year ago on lower sales.

The telco was expected to reported earnings of $69.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

Total revenue for the quarter fell 4.7% to $561 million from $588.7 million in 1Q17. This came on the back of 7.1% and 10% revenue declines in the Mobile and Pay TV segments to $205.1 million and $80.7 million, respectively.

StarHub emerges as MyRepublic partner for MVNO rollout

SINGAPORE (May 3): StarHub has entered into a strategic partnership to provide MyRepublic with the mobile network infrastructure to launch its Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) services in Singapore.

In a Thursday announcement, MyRepublic says it has found its ideal Mobile Network Operator (MNO) partner in StarHub with a partnership that “looks to benefit both companies” in the months after the spectrum auction, during which it has been exploring and evaluating various ways to offer its mobile services as a MVNO.

Year of trepidation for telcos on MVNO threat

SINGAPORE (Jan 12): UOB Kay Hian has turned defensive on the telco sector as channel checks indicate TPG Telecom's network deployment is progressing smoothly and is on track for its year-end commercial launch.

Singapore has attracted a slew of startups offering mobile services based on the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) model which usually targets niche and customised segments.

Tight competition ahead for Singapore's telcos

SINGAPORE (Jan 10): Tight competition within Singapore’s Telecommunications sector should persist in 2018, with the new entrants joining the fray, according to RHB.

Hence, the research house is maintaining its “neutral” recommendation on the telecommunications sector.

The local telcos will be looking to defend their market share ahead of the entry of TPG Telecom and two other mobile virtual network operators (MVNO).

MyRepublic secures $70 mil in funding; to launch MVNO service in 2018

SINGAPORE (Nov 22): Broadband provider MyRepublic has secured a $70 million investment from Makara Innovation Fund to accelerate its growth in current markets as well as scale up product and service offerings.

Makara Innovation Fund (MIF) is a $1 billion private equity fund sponsored by financial services company Makara Capital. It was formed in alliance with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) to further intellectual property management, monetisation and commercialisation.

Only one telco could remain relatively unscathed from intensifying competition: OCBC

SINGAPORE (Sept 11): OCBC Investment Research is maintaining its “neutral” stance on Singapore’s telco sector in anticipation of an intensifying competitive landscape with the impending entry of TPG Telecom, the fourth mobile entrant, which expects to commence operations in 2018.

See: TPG Telecom wins race to become Singapore’s fourth telco

M1 ‘fully valued’ to DBS after removal of M&A premium

SINGAPORE (July 19): DBS is downgrading M1 to “fully valued” with a lower target price of $1.78 after removing the 25% M&A premium.

This comes after M1’s major shareholders with combined stake of 61%, have announced that they are not going ahead with a strategic review to dispose of their stake.

“Our valuation is based on DCF (WACC 6.3%, terminal growth 0%). Despite an 18% decline in the share price over the last one year, M1 is not cheap at FY18F EV/EBITDA of 8.5x versus the Asian telco average of 7.3x,” says DBS analyst Sachin Mittal.

M1 holding up despite being in a tight spot

SINGAPORE (July 14): RHB is maintaining its “neutral” call on M1 with a target price of $2.05.

This is due to major shareholders exiting the company and the entry of MyRepublic as a new competitor.

In a Friday report, RHB expects M&A activity to continue to lend support to its share price.

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