China Telecom, PT&T eye 3rd telco bid

MANILA, Philippines – The Chinese company which was earlier touted to be preferred by President Rodrigo Duterte to be the country's 3rd major telecommunications player formalized its intent to bid, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) announced on Friday, October 12.

China Telecom was the latest foreign company which bought bid documents to challenge the duopoly of local telecom behemoths Globe and Smart.

Duterte announced that the Chinese was to be the 3rd telco player late last year, but the slot was eventually opened up to other participants when the plans did not pan out.

The state-run company has shares listed on both the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. It was able to rake in some $27 billion of earnings in 2017 alone.

China Telecom will need to team up with a Philippine company to meet the 40-60 rule under the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

Norway’s Telenor was the first foreign-based company to purchase bid documents.

Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (PT&T) also bought bid documents earlier this week.

PT&T President and Chief Executive Officer James Velasquez believes they “have a strong chance to win.”

“We are the only local company that would comply with the requirements and we have over 50 years of telecommunications experience servicing the Filipino people,” Velasquez said in a statement.

PT&T is still working on getting back in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) after its voluntary suspension of some 800,000 shares more than a decade ago due to compliance issues.

The company’s shares were last traded on December 2004 at P0.33 a piece.

Other companies vying for the 3rd telco slot are Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation, the consortium of former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis Chavit Singson and TierOne Communication, NOW Telecom, and another local firm which opted to remain anonymous.

The government plans to announce the winner on December. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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