Globe Telecom Inc., the Philippines’s second-biggest telecommunications company, expects e-wallet unit GCash to be ready for an initial public offering (IPO) by yearend, President and CEO Ernest Cu said.
“We’re pretty much ripe for it. The growth is there, the profitability has been there for almost two years now,” Cu said in an interview on Thursday with Bloomberg Television’s David Ingles and Yvonne Man.
“The plan is to be push-button ready by the end of the year. Let’s see where it takes us,” he said.
GCash is the flagship payment platform of Globe Fintech Innovations Inc., or Mynt, which brought in Chinese giant Ant Group Co. as partner in 2017. It also offers crypto, savings, investments and insurance services and has over 76 million users as of the fourth quarter of 2022, Globe said earlier this year.
The popularity of the mobile payment app surged during the pandemic as most consumers opted for cashless transactions from online shopping and bill payments to transport fares.
Globe, which counts Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. and Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp. as its largest shareholders, is banking on Filipinos’ increasing digital use to build new products as growth of its traditional business tapers off.
Inflation has affected the lower end of the market—the biggest segment of the Philippine population—but easing consumer price gains should help boost Globe’s earnings in the latter part of 2023, Cu said.
Globe Telecom shares were unchanged at 2:17 pm in Manila trading, with the Philippines’s key stock index off 0.5 percent.
Globe said on Thursday its 5G connection is now available in 67 countries and Territories, having signed deals with new mobile partners for 5G roaming.
Coco Domingo, VP for Postpaid and International Business at Globe, said the group has signed 5G roaming deals with T-Mobile in Austria, Digi in Malaysia, CTM in Macau, AT&T for the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Windtre in Vatican City, EE for Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, Megafon in Russia, and Docomo Pacific in the Northern Marianas.
This brings the total number of territories where Globe 5G roaming is available to 67.
“With a 5G footprint spanning 67 countries and territories, we are thrilled to offer customers fast and reliable connectivity while they travel the world. We also paired their 5G experience with Globe data roaming promos that are now affordable and accessible for our customers via the GlobeOne app. Now, you can skip the hassle of switching to a local SIM or bringing an extra device to stay connected,” Domingo said.
Postpaid subscribers may pre-register for their favorite data roaming promos a day before their trip through the GlobeOne app. Globe prepaid subscribers may also register for a bucket offer via the GlobeOne app or through GCash.