Telcos fly on aborted SMC-Telstra deal
The local stock barometer retested the 7,100 mark on Monday as telco stocks rallied on news that a prospective alliance between Telstra of Australia and San Miguel Corp. (SMC) had been called off.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index added 14.25 points or 0.2 percent to close at a four-month high of 7,112.89. This was the best level attained by the index since closing at 7,118.20 on Nov. 6 last year.
Upbeat global markets also supported local investor sentiment.
Value turnover stood at P8.39 billion.
Large caps led the day’s gain as 90 advancers were slightly outnumbered by 94 decliners, while 34 stocks were unchanged.
The services counter surged by 5 percent led by telco stocks. PLDT surged by 11.56 percent while Globe rallied by 7.91 percent. They were the two most actively traded stocks on Monday.
It was reported late Sunday that Telstra would no longer invest in a venture with SMC. Such an alliance to create a formidable third player was earlier seen as a threat to the two leading players.
PLDT spokesperson Ramon Isberto said: “I’ve been asked if this latest development changes PLDT’s strategy? The short answer is: No, it doesn’t. First, press reports say SMC will push through with its plans to launch a mobile service on its own. Second, our chair and CEO, Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, has said that our plans for 2016 already take into account the entry of a new player. Third, as we stated in the past, with or without a new player, we are vigorously pursuing our digital pivot strategy which involves a broad range of initiatives.”
For its part, SMC said despite the aborted partnership with Telstra, it would “pursue the launch of its telecommunications network, inclusive of its high-speed Internet service, as scheduled, and is considering other joint venture opportunities.”
Outside of PSEi stocks, other notable gainers were DoubleDragon (+5.51 percent) and Puregold (+1.76 percent). Doris Dumlao-Abadilla