Singtel shares jump as company picks insider as new CEO


Shares in Singapore Telecommunications jumped by the largest amount in four weeks following Southeast Asia’s main telecoms business appointed an insider as its new Group CEO during a weak outlook for the business.

Singtel said on Thursday its board chose Yuen Kuan Moon, the Chief Executive Officer of its Singapore customer business, to replace Chua Sock Koong, 63, who will retire after some 13 years at the helm.

Citi analysts stated Yuen’s transition to his new role should be viewed favourably.

“The street had been previously concerned with the prior earnings pressure and dividend uncertainties, leading to its share price de-rating,” the analysts said in a notice and kept a buy rating on Singtel.

Singtel shares rose as much as 3.3% on Thursday to S$2.19, catapulting them to the leaderboard of the most important index. The stocks recovered from 12-year lows of S$2.08 fell Wednesday, but are down about 35% up to now this season.

Yuen, 53, who joined the firm in 1993 and became its group chief digital officer in 2018, will take charge in January at the category, which has more than 700 million mobile subscribers in 21 nations.

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The move comes as Singtel, which now gets the bulk of its business outside Singapore, has been hit by intensifying competition in already competitive overseas markets such as India and Australia.

Chairman Lee Theng Kiat advised a digital reality conference that Yuen was picked after a worldwide search that considered internal and external candidates after Chua last year flagged her desire to retire.

Lee stated Yuen’s “years of honed experience in the company’s core telecom business and his more recent focus on transforming the group digitally for growth, make him extremely well placed to lead Singtel forward in an era of disruption.”

Chua will remain on as a senior adviser to the chairman.

In the year ended March, Singtel’s net profit plunged about 65% to the lowest in over two decades and it did not provide predictions for the current calendar year, citing uncertainty on account of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed the ‘Singtel shares jump as company picks insider as new CEO‘ article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Anshuman Daga in Singapore. Additional reporting by Anushka Trivedi and Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru. Editing by Stephen Coates.

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