Fibre, datacentre, 5G and digital innovation to drive M&A and investment activity in Asia – DBS

Consolidation among fibre operators, demand for datacentre capacity, capex for 5G rollout, and the continuous work on digital innovation strategies will be among the main drivers of M&A, investment and financing activity in the Asia TMT (telecom, media, technology) sector in 2019, according to Amit Sinha, Managing Director, Global Head of TMT Corporate & Investment Banking, at DBS Bank.

“Phenomenal growth in creation and consumption of data, coupled with data localisation rules, is expected to be a very strong driver for the data centre segment in South and South East Asia”, Sinha commented.

Sinha, one of Asia’s leading bankers in the TMT sector, chaired two Leadership Fireside Chats at the Comms Finance Asia 2019 event in Singapore in January, with top executives from the sector discussing future communications strategies for their organisations.

Featuring panellists Arthur Lang, CEO, International, Singtel and Daniel Ritz, President & CEO, PTCL, part of Etisalat Group, Sinha led the discussions on telecom M&A and investment strategies for Asia, how Asian telcos are driving digital innovation and building an ecosystem of services for customers across the region, the developed business models in response to digital disruption and transformation, the partnership opportunities in markets across Asia, the impact of 5G, as well as the new capex requirements for the next wave of infrastructure and technology.

2018 was a rich year for Asian TMT and deal makers had been busier than ever as figures indicate an approximate fourfold increase in transaction values year on year. According to TMT Finance deal data, over 200 billion US dollars’ worth of TMT transactions were announced or closed in Asia in 2018, with the year’s top TMT deals all registering in the tens of billions.

“In 2019, we would see the deals volume to continue with markets of Greater Bay Area (China), Indonesia and India to watch out for,” said Sinha. “From a sector perspective, we believe financing activities in 2019 would be in the Telecom, Telecom Infrastructure, Telecom Tower, Datacentre sectors covering growth capex, acquisition financing and consolidation play,” he added.

As lead sponsor of Comms Finance Asia 2019, which formed part of the 2-day TMT Finance Asia 2019 event, DBS also hosted two roundtable discussions on Mobile Towers Growth Strategies and Artificial Intelligence, including speakers from TAIPA, TASC Towers PT. Centratama Telekomunikasi Indonesia, Tbk; and Microsoft Singapore, ViSenze, Nodeflux, TNB Ventures, Avanade and TSC.ai. respectively.

The event gathers the most senior industry heads of strategy and finance, plus investment companies, financiers, regulators and advisers active in Asia and global telecoms, media and tech. Key companies represented at the conference included Singtel, ST Telemedia, PCCW-HKT, Axiata Group, edotco Group, HKBN, Starhub, Cisco, Protelindo, Microsoft, Tencent, Bukalapak, InMobi, Sequoia, OneConnect, PPDai, Cognizant, Zilingo, Tech Mahindra, Jungle Ventures ATC, Brookfield, SAP, Etisalat, I Squared Capital, MyRepublic and many more.

To find out more about TMT Finance events, go to: http://www.tmtfinance.com/events

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