Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has drawn down a PHP2.5 billion (USD53.59 million) loan from Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) in order to help finance its fixed line business. The loan is in the form of a seven-year fixed-rate peso bilateral loan, which was taken on 28 September 2009, a spokesman for PLDT said.
The Business Mirror newspaper writes that in 2009 PLDT has earmarked gross borrowing of PHP38 billion, of which PHP33 billion had been put in place by the mid-year point, and PHP19 billion had been drawn upon. The additional borrowings – mainly in the local currency – will be used for CAPEX projects (2009: PHP27 billion) and to support ‘various investments’ such as the telco’s 20% stake in Manila Electric Co. (Meralco). The group’s net borrowing for 2009 is projected at PHP20 billion, resulting in a consolidated ratio of net debt to EBITDA at year-end of about 0.9 times. As at 30 June 2009, PLDT had spent PHP10.7 billion of its total CAPEX budget, of which PHP5.1 billion was allotted for the fixed line business – including investments in its NGN and outside plant rehabilitation; PHP5.3 billion for wireless; and PHP243 million for ICT (information and communications technology).