Sep 23, 2020 Last Updated 9:19 PM, Sep 22, 2020

FNPF ponders telco investment

  • Sep 23, 2020
  • Published in June

An invitation by Amalgamated Telecom Holdings(ATH) to existing shareholders to buy up more shares is still being considered by the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF).

FNPF is the major shareholder, owning around 72% of the telecom group.

"We are still assessing that investment," FNPF CEO Jaoji Koroi told Islands Business.

"It's a strategic investment for us. ATH has grown the past years into the Pacific and the rights issue is to fund that growth. Of course the environment now has changed (due to COVID-19) so we have to assess [it] differently," Koroi said.

ATH is listed on the South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPX) and announced late April an intention to raise F$126.76 million (US$58.32 million) via a 1 share for 6.66 rights issue, at a discount price of F$2 (US$.91) per share.

The rights issue, which was to have closed on June 18, has now been extended to July 17.

For the full story, get the June Islands Business.

Shareholders in Fiji’s biggest telecom conglomerate are being offered more shares for cash.

Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH), which owns all major telecom carriers in Fiji except Digicel Fiji, is listed on the South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPX) and announced this week a 1 share for 6.66 rights issue, at a discount price of F$2 (US$.88) per share.

ATH currently trades at F$2.40 per share, so eligible shareholders who take up the offer will enjoy a 40 cents per share discount (17 per cent), although the end result will see a general dilution of shares as over 63 million new ATH shares will be issued in a bid to raise F$126.76million (US$55.89million).

ATH currently has over 422 million issued shares. 

In the Offer Document for the rights issue, company chairman Ajith Kodagoda said funds raised will be used to recapitalise ATH’s balance sheet by “repaying borrowings, providing funding for capital investments and for general corporate and working capital purposes” and provide the company with financial flexibility. 

Details also reveal that F$100million raised will go towards capital investments while F$26.76million will be working capital. 

ATH is majority owned by the Fiji National Provident Fund (72.2 per cent) and the Fiji Government (17.2 per cent) with the rest held by over 1000 individuals, companies and trust funds in Fiji and the Pacific, including the Samoa National Provident Fund. 

The ATH rights issue will take place between May 18th and June 18th

 

There has been an overwhelming response to the Initial Public Offering  (IPO) of Port Denarau Marina Ltd  currently open in Fiji.

The IPO, which closes on Tuesday, sees 20 percent of the company, an equivalent of 8 million shares, being offered to the Fijian public at F$1.31 per share.   

"There has been overwhelming response. This public offer comes one year after the last listing which was Kontiki Finance Ltd," South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPX ) CEO Krishika Narayan told IB Online.

"What's different in this public offering is that we've seen a lot of advertising go through social media and actually people getting to know about the stock market and they've been enquiring, if you just look at how people have been reacting in the social media to this.  So it's somewhat different to the other public offerings and the traditional forms of using the media to come to the stock market. So in that sense, we've seen a generally overwhelming response from the public," Narayan added.  

Port Denarau Marina Ltd  will be the 21st company to list on the SPX, but the first from the tourism sector.

"A lot depends on the success of this particular listing and how we go forward in terms of having other tourism based listings," Narayan said.

Some incentives of listing on SPX include a reduced corporate tax rate of 10 percent for listed companies, tax-free dividends for shareholders, and other tax free benefits.  

If fully subscribed, the Port Denarau Marina Ltd (PDML)  IPO will raise F$10.48 million.

 PDML plans to use the funds to help finance future expansion plans and current developments including a new Marina reception, amenities and office block, and expansion of the superyacht marina, which is due for completion later this year.  

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