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Hot stock: Asian Pay Television Trust units up 15.5% in early session

UNITS in Asian Pay Television Trust (APTT) were up on heavy volume traded in Monday's early session, after its trustee-manager said it is undertaking an independent strategic review of the trust and its main asset - Taiwan Broadband Communications Group.

At the midday break, APTT units were up two Singapore cents or 15.5 per cent at 14.9 cents, on 24.9 million units traded. The usually thinly-traded counter averaged 3.21 million units traded over the last 15 trading days. 

In a filing with the Singapore Exchange, the trustee-manager of APPT said that it has established a special committee, consisting of four independent directors and APTT's chief executive officer, Brian McKinley, to oversee the strategic review.

It is in the process of selecting an independent financial adviser for the review and expects to make an appointment in the near future. It will make appropriate announcements in the event of any material developments, the trustee-manager added.

In a Feb 28 report, Phillip Securities analyst Paul Chew said that 2018 was the first year of decline in cable TV subscribers for the trust, and noted that the rate of decline was more worrying. 

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"Subscribers fell by 7,000 in Q4 2018, this is more than triple the 2,000 in the prior quarter," he said.

Average revenue per unit for cable TV dropped for the 10th consecutive quarter to NT$494 (S$21.70) per month, or a 3.3 per cent year-on-year drop.

The brokerage has an "accumulate" call on APTT with a target price of 14 Singapore cents.

In November 2018, the trust lowered its dividend payout, which had contributed to its unit price falling by half in a heavy selloff.

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