'So much room to grow': Telco stocks surge anew as fintech units see explosive growth

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 26 2021 02:47 PM

MANILA - Share prices of Globe Telecom and PLDT continued to rise sharply on Thursday, with DITO CME Holdings and Converge ICT also outperforming the market. 

Globe Telecom’s stock was up over 13.4 percent closing at P2,948 per share while PLDT was up 7.7 percent, closing at P1,449 per share. This was a day after Globe’s stock gained 14 percent and PLDT 7.8 percent expectations that these telcos’ fintech units would continue to post very high growth rates.

Meanwhile, DITO, which doesn’t have a fintech unit, also rose 9.5 percent, while Converge also climbed 4.4 percent.

GCash is expected to hit a total transactions volume of around P3 trillion this year, up from P1 trillion last year, and to hit P17 trillion by 2025. The Ayala fintech firm achieved profitability in June.

PayMaya is also forecast to break even in 2022, after its user base base more than doubled over the year. 

Angel Pacis, senior vice president of EastWest Bank said most of the buyers of the telco stocks were foreign funds. 

“Foreign fund managers tend to have a longer term view when they give out their forecasts,” Pacis said in an interview with ANC. 

Pacis noted that besides optimistic forecasts on the performance of their fintech units, telco earnings are also resilient. Even when the economy reopens and work-from-home arrangements give way to office work, demand for telco services will remain, she added. Pacis also noted that both Globe and PLDT made substantial capital expenditures, which are expected to bear fruit this year. 

But Pacis also said that GCash and PayMaya are poised to grow fast as the adoption of cashless and online payments further widens, pushed by social distancing and mobility restrictions amid the pandemic. 

“It has so much room to grow,” Pacis said, referring to fintech. 

The Philippines stock exchange meanwhile traded flat, with the PSEi ending 0.02 percent down, while the broader All Shares index up 0.15 percent. 

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