IBTimes UK

Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) will invest about S$2.47 billion to increase its stakes in Thai telecom company Intouch Holdings and India's Bharti Telecom as part of its strategy to boost exposure to emerging markets.

Singtel said in a statement on Thursday that it will acquire 21 percent stake in Thailand's Intouch Holdings PCL and 7.39 percent stake in Bharti Telecom (BTL) from Temasek Holdings, the state investor with whom it had entered into conditional shares purchases.

"Thailand, India and Africa continue to be attractive, high-growth markets for us," Singtel's group CEO, Chua Sock Koong told Reuters.

CEO Chua Sock Koong also said the company is keen on increasing stake in associates if it is presented with the right opportunities.

"The associates that we currently own are all very high performing businesses. Our ability to increase our stake is also dependent on whether shares are at terms that we think are attractive to us," Chua said.

She added: "In this case, we now have a unique opportunity to increase our shareholding to increase exposure to two markets, and two businesses we have known well and have been involved with for a very long time."

The share transactions will be funded through internal cash, short-term debt and proceeds from a share placement of 386 million new Singtel shares to Temasek totalling S$1.605 billion.

According to the company statement, the deal is expected to be completed by December.

Singtel said the acquisitions and share placement are interdependent and will have to close at the same time.

IBTimes UK