SingTel – OCBC

SHARE SALE MINOR HICCUP

  • Temasek selling 400m shares
  • Temporary knee-jerk reaction
  • Adding value to mobile business

Temasek selling 400m shares

Temasek Holdings has entered into an agreement to sell 400m shares in SingTel as part of its portfolio rebalancing. We understand that it has a upsize option to sell another 100m shares. According to newswire reports, the share sale was done at S$3.20 each, which is a 3.9% discount to Tuesday’s S$3.33 close, and also at the lower end of the indicative S$3.20-3.25 range. As expected, the news resulted in a negative knee-jerk reaction, causing SingTel’s share price to open some 5.1% lower at S$3.16.

Not indicative of SingTel’s business prospects

Meanwhile, Business Times reported that the sale was a result of a “reverse inquiry” from bankers, suggesting that the move is more opportunistic (given that the share price has risen 6.7% YTD) rather than a direct reflection of SingTel’s business prospects. In any case, we note that Temasek will be barred from selling more shares for 120 days after completing the sale. Temasek will hold a 51.3% stake in SingTel (assuming 500m shares are sold), and the telco will remain the largest company in its portfolio by market capitalization.

Good demand for iPhone 5

Separately, demand for the new iPhone 5 over the weekend has been very positive. We visited several SingTel outlets – including some of its competitors – and the queues were very long indeed. While the higher subsidies for the iPhone 5 may initially weigh on margins, the new contracts with less generous data bundles and the faster LTE access speed should eventually bump up ARPU and margins. SingTel has also made several acquisitions in the mobile service space – the latest being a S$3m stake in mobile game firm – and this should allow it to add value to its mobile business.

Maintain BUY with S$3.61 fair value

Despite the negative knee-jerk reaction, we believe that investors should not read too much into the share sale. Instead, we continue to like its defensive business and relatively decent dividend yield of ~5%. Maintain BUY with an unchanged S$3.61 fair value.

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