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Singtel CEO gets 19 per cent pay raise for FY2015

SINGTEL'S head received a 19 per cent pay hike for the group's most recently ended financial year 2015 despite lukewarm earnings growth from the previous year, going by the group's annual report released on Monday.

Group chief executive Chua Sock Koong's total package of nearly S$5.6 million for the 12 months to March 31 also easily surpassed those of her peers at rival telcos StarHub and M1 for their most recent financial years.

Ms Chua's pay rose by about S$900,000 from a total of S$4.71 million the preceding year, with increases in both her fixed wage and variable bonus.

Her salary hike came in a year where Singtel pulled in a tepid 3.5 per cent year-on-year growth in net profit to S$3.78 billion for the FY ended March 31. Operating revenue grew 2.2 per cent to S$17.22 billion over the same period.

Analysts expect Singapore's telecommunications sector to do fairly well this year, though they note that the possibility of a fourth telco coming into the picture poses some risks to the incumbents.

OCBC Investment Research said in a June 5 note that it maintained its "neutral" call on the sector, with Singtel being its top pick. However, Maybank Kim Eng said in a more recent report on June 11 that Singtel's earnings growth outlook "may be muted".

Singtel rose seven Singapore cents to finish at S$4.30 on Monday.