PLDT upping 2015 CAPEX to PHP39bn; seeks loans to stave off competition

5 Mar 2015

Filipino telecoms giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has increased its capital expenditure budget for this year by 12% to PHP39 billion (USD884.5 million) – equivalent to 23% of service revenues in FY 2014 – as it looks to shore up its position in an increasingly competitive market. Further, PLDT is seeking loans worth USD500 million from Japanese banks Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho Bank, amid concerns that its earnings may fall this year. The dominant carrier spent PHP34.8 billion in 2014 (or 21% of service revenues) to expand and enhance its data and broadband capabilities. With data network traffic forecast to explode this year as more and more people buy smartphones, the company intends to roll out ever more 3G base stations and at the same time expand its 4G Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) and Frequency Division LTE (FD-LTE) infrastructure. The PLDT Group has also inked a PHP2 billion term loan facility with Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) to finance its CAPEX and refinance loan obligations.