Friday, October 17, 2008

Portugal Telecom - financially comfortable

Portugal Telecom "comfortable" financially - CEO

Portugal Telecom has 2.3 billion euros in funding available, including standby facilities and commercial paper, putting it in a comfortable position to withstand the financial crisis, Chief Executive Zeinal Bava said on Tuesday.

Goldman Sachs reduced its price target on PT shares on Tuesday to 5.3 euros from 6.8 euros, citing the possibility that PT would cut its dividend or seek other forms of financing due to the financial crisis.

But Bava said the company's financial position was "comfortable".

"We have 1.5 billion euros in standby facilities and 800 million in commercial paper, which sums up to 2.3 billion euros total, and with the cash we have this leaves us very comfortable," Bava said during a presentation.

"We will honour all our obligations and continue to invest in our business."

He added that PT had recently raised 465 million euros in a private debt placing and that the company has 1 billion euros to refinance in April 2009.

In June PT had net debt of 5.8 billion euros with an average maturity of five years at an average cost of 4.59 percent.

Bava said PT had also set a target of 300,000 clients for its triple-play cable TV, Internet and telephone MEO service by the end of 2008 or first quarter of next year. At the end of last month PT already had 200,000 clients for MEO.

PT has promised to pay a dividend of 0.575 euros per share for 2008.

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