TELEKOM Malaysia Bhd (TM), the country's dominant phone company, plans to raise as much as RM1.4 billion from the sale of its staff loans and non-core assets, Morgan Stanley said in a report.
"The disposal of staff loans from the group's books could free up RM500 million, and the Multimedia University disposal could unlock another RM800 million to RM900 million," wrote Navin Killa and Gary Yu in the report after meeting the management last month.
Based on TM's 2007 annual report, its staff loans amounted to RM509 million, with a yearly interest of about four per cent.
"While management remains optimistic on the disposal of staff loans, the group is struggling to find a buyer for the university," the duo noted.
In January, TM raised some RM1 billion by selling Mena-ra TM, Menara Celcom, TM Cyberjaya Complex and Wisma TM (Taman Desa) to Menara ABS Bhd.
TM will need between RM1 billion and RM1.5 billion a year to fund its high-speed broadband (HSBB) project.
A senior government official who spoke to Business Times on condition of anonymity said that the HSBB project is intact and an agreement is scheduled to be signed this month.
The agreement between TM and the government, which was earlier scheduled to be signed this week, was postponed.
Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor was to represent the government at the signing.
UBS Investment Research, in a Monday report, said that some of the capital expenditure by TM might be replaced by investments into the project.
"We expect further clarity on HSBB over these two months to alleviate investor concerns," wrote Shirley Tse in a report.
The HSBB project allows TM to use its fibre optic network to beam broadband connections speedier than what is being offered by wireless network providers, as well as provide cable television connections.
It is understood that TM is looking to provide cable TV facilities similiar to that of the US' second largest internet service provider, Comcast Corp's G4 station that focuses on games, gears, gadgets and gigabytes.