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PCCW (1186) BUY
It was reported that Telstra Corp, an Australian telco, will invest US$2.98bn in a mobile telephone, Internet and telecom service alliance with PCCW, and a detailed announcement will be made later today. According to the report, Telstra will subscribe US$1.5bn to a convertible note issue and pay US$1.48bn in cash to PCCW.
We believe that if the deal goes ahead, it will, to some extent, relieve the market's worries about PCCW's financial position following the merger with
C&W HKT. According to the terms of the deal, PCCW needs to pay an aggregate sum of US$11.3bn to the shareholders of HKT. In this regard, PCCW has arranged a syndicated loan of US$12bn. We expect the merged company to repay US$3bn by its cash balance and to further reduce its loan balance to about US$3.5bn by introducing additional strategic partners.