DITO packaging $1.17-B China loan

DITO Telecommunity Corp. expects to complete the renewal of its $1.175-billion loan from Bank of China and the China Minsheng Bangking Corp. this year.

“The bridge facility is to be repaid and absorbed via a $3.9 billion project finance long-term facility currently being finalized by DITO Tel’s senior management, with target closing this year,” DITO parent company DITO CME Holding Corp. said in a stock report on Friday.

Early this year, DITO said it will pursue capital infusions on top of cost-cutting measures to prevent losses from piling up.

According to DITO, telecommunications is a capital-intensive business due to the required infrastructure for its network operations. With only three years in operations, the company is still not yet profitable given this nature.

 

P27-B capex for year

For this year, the company plans to only spend P27 billion to bankroll network buildup and commitments to the government.

Although the capital expenditure allotted was way lower than the P50 billion spent last year, the company said it is still within the spending range committed to the government as the third telco.

In September 2022, DITO passed its third government-mandated technical audit measuring its compliance with its network coverage and internet speed commitments.

As part of the issuance of its Certificate of public convenience and necessity in July 2019, DITO needs to record 70.01 percent network reach with a minimum speed of 55 Mbps in the third year of its commitment period.

If DITO fails to fulfill its commitments on time, the government forfeits, in its favor, the P25.7 billion performance bond that DITO paid before construction activities.

DITO has promised to cover 84 percent of the Philippines and offer a minimum average speed of at least 55 Mbps by the end of its commitment.


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