Ayala-backed Globe Telecom of the Philippines has secured a PHP2 billion (USD48.5 million) loan from three insurance companies to refinance debt and help fund its CAPEX in 2013. In a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Globe confirmed that it has signed the loan facility with The Philippine American Life and General insurance Company, The Insular Life Assurance Company and Sunlife of Canada (Philippines). It is understood that the ten-year, fixed-rate term loan facility was arranged by Insular investment Corp.
As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month Globe CEO Ernest Cu said that his firm intends to complete its USD700 million national network modernisation programme in 1Q13, with key components of the plan – in cities such as Makati, Mandaluyong, and Pasig (all Metro Manila) – coming to fruition in the fourth quarter of this year. According to Cu, ‘critical areas’ in Metro Manila have entered the final phase, with Quezon City reportedly at 90% completion. The chief executive officer added that work in Pasig and Mandaluyong will be finished by October, with Makati following a month later. ‘We will continue moving south from there and will have the whole country completed by the first quarter of 2013,’ Cu said.
Globe’s network modernisation programme, launched in November 2011 to redress growing concerns from its subscribers over its service quality, is running ahead of schedule with more than 50% of the works now complete, including upgrades to more than 3,000 cell sites and the deployment of thousands of kilometres of fibre-optic cables. The operator’s upgrade plan is also future-proofed to contend with an anticipated surge in mobile data traffic and to allow for the launch of new technologies, such as Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G mobile which goes live in Makati this month.