Thanachart Securities kept its 'overweight' rating on the
Thai telecom sector, saying the Central Administrative Court's
rejection of a petition against the recent 3G auction could help
reinstate confidence over the country's 3G efforts.
The Office of the Ombudsman had submitted the case to the
court to decide whether the Oct. 16 auction was conducted fairly
under the constitution and frequency allocation laws. Critics
say the telecom companies colluded on pricing at the auction.
"We believe the 3G licensing process will be able to move as
planned, while worries had subsided as Advanced Info Service,
Total Access Communication, and True Corp had paid a 50 percent
deposit of the bidding price and completed the required
paperwork," Thanachart said.
The brokerage said it expects the NBTC to issue the 3G
licence by Jan. 18, while telecom operators will be able to
provide full service by the second half of 2013.
"Unlike the market, we don't believe 3G investment will
lower the profitability and growth in the future for the
operators, since demand for 3G network had been proven to be on
the rise while regulatory costs went down".
Thanachart expected the industry to achieve a 22 percent
profit growth in 2013 and 19 percent in 2014.
The telecom subindex was up 0.64 percent. True Corp
was flat after touching a high of 5.15 baht. Total
Access Communication rose 0.86 percent to 87.75 baht,
while shares in Advanced Info Service was down 0.45
percent at 219 baht.
(Reporting by Sinsiri Tiwutanond in Bangkok; Editing by