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Singtel said to tap Bank of America for pursuit of Australia's Amaysim

Singapore

SINGAPORE Telecommunications, South-east Asia's largest telecom services provider, is moving ahead with examining a possible bid for wireless operator Amaysim Australia, said people with knowledge of the matter.

The company is working with Bank of America to assess options for investing in Sydney-based Amaysim, the people said, asking not to be identified because the process is private. The appointment was made in the last two weeks, according to one of the people.

A deal for Amaysim, which leases the wireless network owned by the Singapore carrier's local subsidiary, would give Singtel access to the operator's more than 1.1 million mobile subscribers.

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Shares of Amaysim jumped as much as 19 per cent in Tuesday trading, the biggest intraday gain in two years. They were up 12 per cent at the close in Sydney, giving the company a market value of A$212 million.

Singtel hasn't decided how large a stake it would eventually seek in Amaysim, the people said. Deliberations are at an early stage, and there's no certainty they will result in a bid, they said.

Representatives for Singtel and Bank of America declined to comment, while a spokesman for Amaysim said he couldn't immediately comment.

Local subsidiary Singtel Optus reported net income fell 3.5 per cent in the quarter through June to A$154 million. Its wireless revenue rose 7.9 per cent after Optus added customers during the period, though the average revenue per user fell amid competition on data prices.

Amaysim was one of the first Australian operators to offer unlimited national talk and text mobile plans, according to its website.

It bought a local Internet provider in 2016 to enter the broadband market and expanded into energy services last year. BLOOMBERG