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January 22, 2009

Philippines' telecom firm sees no problem servicing debts
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT), the country's most valuable listed firm, said its cash flow remains robust, allowing it to finance planned spending and maturing debts this year, reported Reuters.

PLDT, owned by Hong Kong's First Pacific Co Ltd and Japan's NTT Communications and NTT DoCoMo, said in November it has maturing debts of $316 million this year.

PLDT spokesman Ramon Isberto said in a text message to Reuters on Thursday that the company's cash flows remain constant, "enabling PLDT to comfortably service its debt and finance its capex without resorting to major offshore loans."

The company was reacting to a report by loan pricing news service Reuters Basis Point that PLDT would need to raise around $200 million from the overseas debt market this year.

The report, citing banking sources, added PLDT would likely break down its overseas borrowing into several deals of about $50-75 million each. PLDT, which is valued at around $8.1 billion and controls about 55 percent of the Philippines' mobile market, has previously said it had a consolidated free cash flow of 39 billion pesos ($823 million) in the first nine months of 2008.

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