Friday, October 18, 2019

Tris gives True’s senior unsecured debt BBB+ rating

Oct 08. 2019
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By THE NATION

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Tris Rating has given True Corporation’s existing senior unsecured debentures worth up to Bt8.5 billion a “BBB+” rating and affirmed the company’s partially guaranteed debentures at “A-”.

True intends to use the proceeds from the new debentures to refinance its debts that are coming due and for working capital, Tris said in a press release. 

The ratings reflect True’s satisfactory business risk profile, underpinned by its competitive strength as an integrated telecom operator with an established market position and extensive network coverage in mobile and broadband Internet services, Tris said. 

The ratings also take into account Tris’s expectation of continued support from True’s major shareholders, CP Group and China Mobile International Holdings. The ratings are weighed down by the company’s high level of leverage and the intense competition in its core businesses.

For the first half of 2019, True’s operating performance “was in line with Tris’s expectations”. 

TrueMove H continued delivering sound operating performance, while TrueOnline has faced heightened competitive pressure, Tris said. 

For the first half of 2019, mobile service revenue (excluding interconnection charges, or IC) was Bt38.6 billion, growing by 6.9 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) and outpacing the industry average of 2 per cent, according to the press release. Revenue from broadband Internet and business data services dropped by 2.9 per cent y-o-y to Bt12.4 billion. 

For the first half of 2019, True reported a 2.7 per cent increase in overall services revenue to Bt52 billion. However, excluding revenue from divesting assets to the Digital Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund in the first half of 2018, its total operating revenue declined by 1 per cent y-o-y, to Bt67.9 billion, due mainly to lower revenue from network rental and product sales, the press statement added.

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