CEO Morning Brief

Telcos Given 20 Days to Finalise Their Agreements to Subscribe for DNB Shares, Says Fahmi

Publish date: Wed, 22 May 2024, 11:28 AM
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TheEdge CEO Morning Brief
Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil: Soon the MCMC will announce a tender process that will allow companies that want to be involved in bidding for the second network to make their respective bids.

KUALA LUMPUR (May 21): The five telecommunications groups that enrolled themselves to subscribe for shareholdings in Malaysia’s 5G network wholesaler Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) are required to finalise their respective share subscription agreements (SSAs) over the next 20 days, according to a Bernama report on Tuesday.

Citing Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil, the news agency reported that the first meeting of the DNB board of directors was held on Monday and each of the five telcos was represented by a board member.

The telcos are CelcomDigi Bhd (KL:CDB), Maxis Broadband Sdn Bhd, U Mobile Sdn Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd (KL:TM) and YTL Power International Bhd (KL:YTLPOWR)’s unit YTL Communications Sdn Bhd.

“Subsequently we hope to complete and finalise the equity holdings of the telcos. And one of the conditions imposed on the telcos that want to be involved in the second network is that they must complete this share subscription, that is the equity holdings in DNB,” Fahmi was reported as saying.

“Soon the MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) will announce a tender process that will allow companies that want to be involved in bidding for the second network to make their respective bids,” he said.

Fahmi said the direction of the decision for the 5G network made during the Cabinet meeting was a follow-up to the Cabinet's decision last year that the implementation of the 5G network would shift from a single network to dual network.

The SSAs were meant to give the telcos a collective 70% equity stake or 14% each in DNB, with the government, through the Minister of Finance (MOF) Inc, retaining the remaining 30% and holding a special share. MOF Inc may eventually exit DNB with only a special share. The agreements will also see each of the mobile network operators, or MNOs, inject RM233 million — which amounts to a total of RM1.165 billion — to meet DNB’s funding requirements.

Fahmi on Tuesday also updated that as at April 30, 2024, the nation's 5G network coverage of populated areas (COPA) had reached 81.5%, while the acceptance or adoption rate for the 5G network had reached 39.2%.

"This saw a 3.8% increase compared to the end of March this year, which means that as of the end of April there are 13.2 million 5G accounts in our country," Fahmi noted, adding this was a good and positive achievement.

The 13.2 million comprised 12.78 million individual accounts and 422,609 enterprise accounts.

The MCMC and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), meanwhile, will be inking a memorandum of understanding in a week or two to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) adopt and implement the use of 5G networks for their businesses, according to Fahmi.

Source: TheEdge - 22 May 2024

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