Regional telecommunication firms delisting from stock exchanges


Regional telecommunication firms delisting from stock exchanges

Observer business writer

Friday, November 27, 2020

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Following Cable and Wireless (C&W) Jamaica's delisting from the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) in March 2018 and C&W Barbados delisting from the Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) in late October, Cable Bahamas Limited (CAB) will become the latest firm to delist from the JSE in January once its series 11 preference shares are redeemed.

CAB, which has its ordinary shares listed on the Bahamian International Securities Exchange (BISE), cross listed on the JSE in June 2017 through the issuance of a United State dollar (USD) Class A (CAB11A) and USD indexed Class B preference shares (CAB11B) for a total of US $14.5 million ($1.87 billion) to support its Aliv brand and working capital.

The preference shares, which were expected to be redeemed on June 30, 2023, are being redeemed early as the company reaped the BSD $112.2 million gain from the BSD $301.5 million ($44.4 billion) sale of its Florida-based Summit Vista subsidiary.

The owners of these preference shares were institutional investors in the form of pension funds, insurance companies and other collective investment schemes. Despite the preference shares never trading on the JSE, they held the distinction of being the most expensive securities with CAB11A costing US $1,000 while the CAB11B were for $1 million per share. CAB still has eight other preference share issues listed on the BISE with the series eight preference shares maturing in May 2024 for BSD $103.5 million ($15.2 billion).

Although CAB's revenue for the 2020 financial year ending June 30 grew by 6 per cent to BSD $192.9 million, the impact from Hurricane Dorian and 8 per cent increase in operating expenses resulted in the net loss from continuing operations worsening by 18 per cent to BSD $50.5 million. However, CAB ended the period with a net profit attributable to shareholders of BSD $85.2 million compared to the BSD $13.3 million loss incurred in the prior year. Total assets for the year declined by 11 per cent to BSD $616.2 million mainly due to the sale of Summit, but the company had BSD $174.9 million in cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period. A 20 per cent drop in total liabilities to BSD $541.3 million supported the 223 per cent rise of the equity attributable to shareholders.

CAB faced two significant troughs during the year in the form of Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19 which pushed the two peak months of revenue in July and February from BSD $11.4 million to BSD $10.6 million after the events. In spite of these events, the company's digital payment channels have risen from 25 per cent to 75 per cent with numerous options for customers to pay their bills. It was also able to successfully deploy the transformation phase for the Aliv brand, which managed to gain greater mobile subscription amid the post-Dorian events and current pandemic. CAB's main operations are in the provision of cellular, Internet, TV and voice services to clients across the archipelago of islands through their 4 core brands.

“We are confident in our ability to continue to support our Bahamian operations and to make the required investments in our network, customer experience and drive continued growth in our subscriber base in Aliv, Cable Bahamas Business Solutions, OURTV and REV. I'd like to acknowledge the work of our teams who have led the charge in the face of much adversity but, who have pivoted to ensure we provide our consumers with more ways to pay, better service and to effectively steward the business in the face of much uncertainty,” chairman of CAB Ross McDonald said in his report to shareholders.

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