Filipino operator Globe Telecom has raised USD600 million through the sale of dollar-denominated bonds on the international capital markets to help fund network upgrades and pay down debt. The process reportedly involves five-year senior perpetual capital securities which will be listed in Singapore. The company’s CEO Ernest Cu said in a statement: ‘The issuance reaffirms the international investment community’s confidence in the company’s strong business fundamentals and mobile market leadership’. Globe confirmed that HSBC and JP Morgan acted as joint global coordinators, and HSBC, JP Morgan and BPI Capital acted as joint lead managers and joint bookrunners. China Bank Capital acted as domestic lead manager.
In related news, Globe revealed that between January-September 2021 it built out 82% more base stations than it did in the corresponding period of 2020, or 1,080 new cell sites compared to 593, as it looks to upgrade and modernise its infrastructure across the country. Joel Agustin, Globe Senior Vice President for Program Delivery, Network Technical Group, explained that the deployment of new base stations ‘will greatly decongest traffic in our existing towers’ and that upgrading existing sites to 4G LTE will help it ‘meet customers’ demand for accessible connectivity in more parts of the country’. Most of the telco’s newly built cell towers are located in Metro Manila (340) and in North Luzon (230), while at least 100 have been installed in South Visayas and Mindanao.