DITO gets $3.9-B loan to fund telco expansion



MANILA  -DITO CME Holdings Corp., which has recently received a series of capital infusions, continues to build up its war chest after securing a $3.9-billion project finance facility to fund the expansion plans of its telecommunication business.

The 15-year loan agreement, which is touted to be one of the “largest long-term debt arranged and syndicated by a group of multinational banks” for a local company, will finance initiatives including 5G and mobile postpaid products.

Portion of the proceeds will also go to payment for short-term bridge loan amounting to $1.3 billion.

“The project finance facility represents strategic trust and confidence in the vision of the company to be a major enabler of digital services in the Philippines,” DITO CME president Ernesto Alberto said in a disclosure on Thursday.

Alberto previously stressed the need to build up funding given that the telco sector is capital-intensive in nature.

Enterprise push

Apart from these, telco unit DITO Telecommunity (DITO Tel) is targeting to release products for enterprise clients this year as it expands consumer base.

After the July 25 deadline and five-day grace period for the SIM card registration, DITO saw 51.72 percent or 7.74 million cards out of 14.96 million registered.

DITO CME recently received P2.24-billion worth of fresh equity after Summit Global Ltd., an entity organized and existing under the laws of Cayman Islands, bought 18.5-percent stake in a subsidiary running its telco business.

In August, the parent company disclosed that Singaporean funds Summit Telco Corp. Pte. Ltd. and Xterra Ventures Pte. Ltd. bought 1.59 billion common shares and 610 million common shares, respectively, in DITO CME also for P1 apiece.

Meanwhile, DITO Tel also passed the fourth technical audit by the National Telecommunications Commission. It registered a national population coverage of 80.65 percent and minimum average broadband speed of 74.97 megabits per second (Mbps) for 4G and 639.32 Mbps for 5G.

These surpassed the minimum requirement of 80.01-percent coverage and internet speed of 55 Mbps.

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For the fifth and last year of monitoring, DITO Tel must register 84-percent coverage and a minimum average internet speed of 55 Mbps. INQ

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