Singapore Telecom: A Fistful Of Billions And Looking For Action

As its monopoly ends, Singapore Telecom hunts foreign profits

Lee Hsien Yang doesn't look like a man with a problem. The youngest son of Singapore's former Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, and a former army brigadier general, he is president and chief executive of one of the best-regarded telecommunications companies in the world. Ranked by market capitalization, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. is the largest company in Asia outside Japan--and, at $36 billion, nearly the size of Walt Disney Co. The company has used profits from the monopoly it enjoys in its prosperous domestic market to fund 53 overseas investments in 21 countries, and more are on the way. Despite the $1.6 billion buying spree, Singapore Telecom is flush with cash. And it's soon to get an additional $1.1 billion as compensation for the premature ending of its monopoly.

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