Feb 25, 2014

    Optus still financially disciplined

    IN RESPONSE to Moody's Investors Services' downgrade of Optus, SingTel said yesterday that Optus remains financially disciplined in its approach to investments.

    SingTel said its Australian unit is also committed to maintaining an investment-grade credit rating.

    "Optus' credit rating continues to be strong among its peers in the global telecommunications industry," SingTel said.

    Earlier yesterday, the credit rating agency downgraded the senior unsecured long-term ratings of Optus Finance Pty Limited to A1/ (P)A1 from Aa3/ (P)Aa3. The outlook was revised to stable, from negative.

    Optus Finance Pty Limited is a wholly owned and guaranteed subsidiary of SingTel Optus Pty Ltd (together with Optus Finance).

    "The downgrade reflects the weakening in Optus' credit profile at the previous rating level, with trend in elevated leverage, intensely competitive operating environment and a business profile that is comparatively weak compared to major telcos at that rating level," said Mr Ian Lewis, a Moody's senior vice-president.

    For the nine months ended December last year, Optus contributed around 50 per cent of SingTel's reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.