RealTime IT News

SingTel To Group, List Net Units

National telephone company Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) said this week that it will group all its Internet interests into one company which may eventually be floated.

Outlining a comprehensive strategy, the new company will group its existing Internet interests like SingNet, the high-speed access Magix service and its regional broadband Internet exchange Stix into the new entity.

Expected to be included in this new entity will be a string of other Internet businesses in the region which will be acquired aggressively in the near future, company executives said.

"We are looking at companies in ASEAN, Australia, India and depending on the situation, China as well," corporate development director Andrew Buay told reporters and analysts. The company expects to make several "sizable" acquisitions in the coming months and these will be funded by listing of the related units.

SingTel, which will lose its complete monopoly starting April, said it will list four of its Internet businesses within the next two years: National Computer Systems Pte. Ltd., Sesami.com, Mercurix and its 50-50 joint venture for Lycos Asia.

The first company expected off the starting block will be National Computer Systems Pte. Ltd, one of Singapore's largest systems integration players which was acquired from the former National Computer Board.

The company, which has been aggressively pursuing e-commerce businesses in the past few months, registered an operating profit of S$35 million (US$20.8 million) on revenues of S$225 million (US$134 million) for the year to end March 1999.

National Computer Systems is expected to list within 12 months and the rest will follow, a process scheduled to be complete in the next two years.