Telco Axiata strengthens regional hold, controls 34% of Cambodian market post-acquisition

Being one of the biggest Asian telecommunications companies with operations across ten countries, Axiata Group Bhd has flexed its muscles to firm its grip on the Cambodian market… After the acquisition of its rival Latelz Co Ltd, the second-largest mobile operator with a 21% market share in the Indochinese nation, Hello Axiata, Axiata’s Cambodian unit will emerge as the second-largest player there from its current fourth position. Post-merger, the enlarged entity will have a combined market share of 34%, marginally lagging behind the leading telco in that country, Metfone, which held 35% of the total pie as at June 2012. … Adhering to the dividend play in the Malaysian telecoms scene, Axiata has doubled its dividend payout from 30% two years ago to 65% this year, making it more attractive compared to its local peers who are also generous in rewarding their shareholders. CIMB Research’s recent report shows that Axiata’s core price to earnings for calendar year 2012 at 19.5 times is still lower than the Malaysian weighted average of 23.4 times. Axiata is research house’s top pick in the sector.