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Hot stock: Singtel climbs higher on potential IPO of broadband unit, NetLink

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SHARES of Singapore Telecommunications inched almost 2 per cent higher on Thursday, following renewed market speculation that the telco is poised to list its broadband subsidiary, NetLink Trust.

At 11:29am, Singtel was trading around S$3.69, up 7 Singapore cents, or 1.93 per cent. About 27 million shares changed hands, making it the top value traded stock on the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

IFR reported late last week that Singtel had hired three banks to manage an initial public offering (IPO) of up to US$2.5 billion (S$3.6 billion) for NeLink.

The telco was said to have tapped DBS Group, Morgan Stanley and UBS AG to handle the IPO, expected to take place in the second or third quarter of 2017.

Singtel's Group CEO Chua Sock Koong previously said the telco would be cutting its stake in NetLink to less than 25 percent.

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Late Wednesday, Temasek Holdings informed SGX that about 385.58 million new Singtel shares, worth S$1.61 billion, have been issued and alloted to Atrium Investments, its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary on Nov 17, 2016. This was related to a placement agreement dated August 18, 2016.

In August, Singtel said it had entered into conditional share purchase agreements with Temasek to buy 21 per cent of Intouch Holdings Public Company and 7.39 per cent of Bharti Telecom Limited for S$2.47 billion.

Following the placement, Temasek's direct stake in Singtel is now 49.81 per cent, compared to 51.01 per cent previously. Its total interest in the telco is up at 52.29 per cent, from 51.13 per cent previously.

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