Singtel to delist from ASX

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Singtel to delist from ASX

Low trading volumes pushes Optus parent to focus on Singapore.

Optus parent Singtel has requested approval to delist from the Australian Stock Exchange over low trade volumes, the company said today.

Singtel listed on the ASX in September 2001 as a result of its acquisition of Optus. It has a market cap of $67.1 billion.

However, in recent years, the company said, the number of Singtel clearing house electronic sub register system depositary interests (CDIs) has declined significantly.

CDIs now only represent less than 1 percent of Singtel's issued capital - 137 million of the 12.94 billion Singtel shares.

"Daily trading volumes and liquidity of Singtel CDIs on the ASX are very low," it said in a statement.

"During the twelve months to 31 March 2015, the number of Singtel CDIs traded on the ASX accounted for only 6 percent of all Singtel shares traded."

The company said the low trade volumes reflected investors' preference to hold and trade Singtel shares on its home exchang, the Singapore Exchange.

"With little demand to drive liquidity in its CDIs, Singtel's weighting in the S&P/ASX200 index has been reduced to approximately 0.03 percent as at 31 March 2015," Singtel said.

"This further diminishes the broader market appeal of Singtel CDIs."

The company expects its index weighting will continue to decline over time, and has therefore determined there are "minimal shareholder benefits from maintaining Singtel’s listing on the ASX".

"The delisting will also have the effect of reducing the costs arising from dual listing requirements," it said.

Singtel's delisting will have no effect on its Australian operations - the Optus business - it said. 

"Since its acquisition of [Optus], Singtel has invested over $13 billion in building infrastructure and improving communication services in Australia," it advised investors.

"There will be no change in Singtel’s business strategy as it remains committed to growing and investing in its Australian business."

CDI holders will either be able to convert their CDIs into Singtel shares listed on the Singapore Exchange or sell their interest.

Singtel will be delisted from the ASX on May 29 should the ASX give its approval to the proposal.

Removal of Singtel CDIs will then occur on June 5, when Singtel will cease to be an ASX-listed entity.

The company said the ASX had advised it was likely to agree to the proposal.

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