Singtel share price (SGX: Z74) in trouble
Could Optus’s cybersecurity attack become another Bharti Airtel for Singtel? In November 2019, Singtel posted its first quarterly loss due to the $1.93 billion pre-tax share of Bharti Airtel’s one-off charge in India. That India saga saw Singtel share price (SGX: Z74) plunging from $3.40 in late 2019 to a low of $2.00 in October 2020. The turmoil also saw the departure of former CEO, Chua Sock Koong in December 2020. Against this backdrop, investors must be holding their breath on the unfolding class action suit against its wholly-owned subsidiary, Optus.
On 21 April 2023, Singtel announced that “a class action against six (6) Australian Optus entities was filed in the Federal Court of Australia”. According to a Straits Times article, it was alleged that more than 100,000 current and former customers had joined in the class action suit. In my opinion, given the severity of the incident and the scale of the cybersecurity victims, the potential costs and fines may be at least US$1 billion based on Bharti Airtel saga. Of course, this is just my personal opinion and I could be wrong.
Last year, several analysts had predicted that the data breach could cost Singtel hefty costs of about US$500 million, to which Singtel had rubbished as “speculative”.Read more