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account_balanceMetro News account_circleNoah James chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

Shares of Dito Telecommunity Corp. surged while those of its rivals plunged on Tuesday's open, following shutdown threats of President Rodrigo Duterte in his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Dito Telecom shares opened Tuesday at P2.81 apiece, up by 5.63% from Monday's finish of P2.66 per share, and have so far registered an intraday high of P2.88, up 8.27%.

Shares are trading at P2.84, up P0.180 or 6.77% as of 10:47 a.m. on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

On the other hand, incumbents Globe Telecom Inc. and PLDT Inc. opened Tuesday's session down over 1%.

Shares of Ayala-led Globe opened at P2,000 apiece, also its intraday high so far, down by 0.49% from Monday's close of P2,010.00.

Its shares are currently trading at P1,981.00 apiece, down by P29.00 or 1.44%.

Meanwhile, shares of Pangilinan-led PLDT Inc., which counts as subsidiary Smart Communications Inc., opened down by 2.42% at P1,302.00 per share from P1,320.00.

Shares are currently trading at P1,302.00, down by P18.00 or 1.36%.

This comes after Duterte in his SONA on Monday afternoon threatened both Smart and Globe to improve services by December, else have their properties expropriated or be shut down.

"The President's pronouncements yesterday have indeed caused some investors to worry," PNB Securities president Manuel Antonio Lisbona said in a mobile message.

"But I think it's also a fair warning to the two companies to further accelerate the improvement of their service, considering that the country's telco services are comparatively more expensive (and slower) than the regional peers. That said, the government should also do its part in making it easier for telcos to improve their services," he added.

Globe said it will heed Duterte's order, but noted that challenges remain in the telecommunications industry, such as securing the necessary permits to put up cellular sites which would in turn boost its signal.

Smart has yet to release a statement on the matter.

Both companies will compete with Dito Telecom, which is scheduled to launch commercial operations in March 2021.

The Dito group is made up of Dennis Uy's Udenna Corporation, Udenna's subsidiary Chelsea Logistics Holdings Inc., and Chinese state-owned China Telecommunications Corporation.

"Dito's rise today will likely be short-lived at this point, considering that the company has yet to meet its rollout obligations," said Lisbona.

"However, the future holds much potential and depends on how Dito will be able to surpass its challenges," he added.

Dito failed to fulfill its first-year commitments by the July 8 deadline under its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN), but was given six more months by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to meet this.

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