DIFs New Units Ready for Trading on May 23

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Tuesday May 22, 2018 11:07
Bangkok--22 May--MT Multimedia
DIF's New Units Ready for Trading on May 23 With the fund's unique asset capacity and outstanding past performances, confidence is high that investors will respond positively to higher projected dividend.

The Digital Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (DIF) has listed new units for trading in the Stock Exchange of Thailand on May 23. Confidence is high that investors will respond positively to the trading of new units in the same way as they did during the subscription.

Highlights of the fund include a larger asset portfolio with nationwide coverage, outstanding past performances, as well as greater capacity following the third additional investment. Moreover, projected dividend per unit between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 will be no less than 1.04 baht. Retail investors will have additional incentives as they will be eligible for tax benefits for their dividends up until the year 2023.

Mr. Smith Banomyong, Chief Executive Officer of SCB Asset Management Co. Ltd (SCBAM) as the management company for DIF, revealed that DIF's new units as per capital increase and fundraising plan for the third additional investment, will start trading in the SET on May 23.

He expressed confidence that the new units will receive positive response from investors who express their interests in the telecommunications infrastructure fund which is an asset that provide stable return in terms of dividends, in the same way as it did during the subscription period. This was so successful that the final price reached 13.90 baht per unit, the highest of the preliminary price range.

Mr. Smith said SCBAM has been committed to managing DIF in a way that generates excellent returns to the investors. This could be attested by DIF's strong past performances as reflected in the fund's net asset value (NAV).

From 2013 to 2017, the NAV at year-end stood at 10.0471, 12.4161, 12.3241, 14.6191 and 15.5630 baht per unit, respectively, and the dividend per unit (DPU) from 2014 to 2017 stood at 0.94, 0.95, 0.96 and 0.98 baht, respectively, signifying the capacity of the dividend payout which was consistent and at an increasing rate annually. The CEO of SCBAM said that following the third additional investment, DIF would have an enlarged asset portfolio with a nationwide coverage, composed of the ownership and rights to net revenues from 15,271 telecommunication towers; the ownership, long-term leasehold rights and rights to net revenues from 2.6 million core kilometers of fiber optic cables (FOC) where 49%, calculated based on FOC leasable to other tenants, of which spread throughout Bangkok and Metropolitan Area (BMA) with high population density; and the ownership in the upcountry broadband system totalling 1.2 million ports. The combined asset value of the portfolio will be amounting to approximately 175,042 million baht.

At the same time, Mr. Smith added, the weighted average maturity of the assets' lease terms would be prolonged, lasting about 20 years, positively resulting in more stable income for the fund. He reiterated that the projected DPU during July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 will be increased to at least 1.04 baht compared to 0.98 baht for the calendar year of 2017 (January to December), equivalent to 7.48% first-year projected dividend yield calculated based on the final offering price of the new units at 13.90 baht per unit.

On top of this, retail investors will be eligible for tax exemption for their dividends up until the year 2023. "We are confident that DIF will benefit indirectly from the current development in the communications and telecommunications industry, which sees a rising demand for data services and smartphone penetration rates through the businesses of True Group who is the fund's anchor tenant and of other telecommunications operators who need to develop their own networks to meet the rising demand," Mr. Smith said.

"As a bonus, leasing of DIF's telecommunications towers or fiber optic cables by third-party operators will contribute to shared utilization and also reduce redundancy of investment."

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