Friday, December 24, 2010

OSK- Axiata Target Price RM5.50

Company: Axiata
Target Price : RM5.50
Research Company : OSK

KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd may dispose its 49% stake in Iran's Mobile Telecommunications Company of Esfahan (MTCE), a small mobile operator it acquired in 2005.

The management, however, had previously said that it was in no hurry to dispose non-core assets until the right price was secured, said OSK Research.

On Thursday, Axiata announced that it completed the sale of its entire stake of 18.9% in Samart Corporation Public Company Ltd to existing shareholders, Charoenrath Vilailuck and Watchai Vilailuck, for RM108 million.

Axiata still holds its 24.4% stake in Samart i-Mobile, focusing on mobile, multimedia and international business, it said.

OSK Research, in its report, said the sale was in line with Axiata's focus to hive off non core assets and represents its second major disposal after the sale of an 89% stake in Multinet in July for US$15 million (RM46.46 million).

A check at Axiata's website revealed that MTCE commenced operations on June 24, 2002 as the first provider of mobile prepaid SIM cards in Iran.

It is licenced to operate a GSM 900 MHz mobile communication service with a capacity of 35,000 customers in the Esfahan province of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The licence is valid for a 15-year period from May 19, 2001.

As of Dec 31, 2009, it operated 64 BTSs in 12 cities within the Esfahan Province.

"The divestment (in Samart) reinforced our commitment to focus on our primary business of mobile communication," said Axiata president and group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Jamaludin Ibrahim in a statement released on Thursday, Dec 23.

Hence, OSK is maintaining its "Buy" call on Axiata shares of RM5.80.

"Axiata remains our top pick for exposure to the regional and Malaysian telecommunication sector, trading at a compelling 12 times for financial year 2011 earnings per share," said OSK.

Similarly, MIDF Research said with good performance expected in financial year 2010 and the growth potential in Indonesia and Bangladesh, MIDF maintained a "Buy" recommendation for Axiata with a target price to RM5.50.

Source: Bernama, 24 Decem 2010

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