Friday, November 22, 2019

DIF to issue new units to raise Bt15.8 bn for investment

Jul 27. 2019
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By The Nation

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The Digital Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (DIF) is issuing new units at a set price of Bt15.9 per unit, which will be offered at 9.40 existing units to purchase one units at price Bt15.9 per unit with bookings to open from August 20 to 23.

The fund expects to generate Bt15.8 billion from this offering, which will be invested in the telecommunication assets of TRUE, Siam Commercial Bank’s executive vice president for investment banking Veena Lertnimitr said. 

She added that DIF’s board has also agreed to pay a dividend of Bt0.0469 per unit based on its financial results from April 1 to July 31. Shareholders who hold a stake as of August 26 will be eligible. 

Narongsak Plodmechai, CEO of Siam Commercial Bank Asset Management Co Ltd, who is also managing the DIF Fund, said that as of March 31, DIF held net assets worth Bt150.28 billion. Once the Bt15.8 billion is raised, the fund will invest in 788 telecommunication towers as well as 749 poles on the ground and approximately 39 poles on platforms, which should be ready and operating within a year. The fund will also invest in approximately 107,694 kilometres of fibre optic cables for mobile phone services upcountry.

Under this investment plan, DIF will also buy up assets nationwide to support the expansion of communication technology and mobile-phone requirements such as broadband internet and Wifi. It plans to earn benefits from most of the assets by renting them out on a long-term basis to True Group. 

It will also use its remaining assets to provide additional benefits to other telecom operators, he said, which will bring additional value to the fund and unit holders, he said. 

For the years 2016, 2017 and 2018, DIF has paid per-unit dividends of Bt0.956, Bt0.975 and Bt1.016 respectively, he said.

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