How True Corporation’s Rating Sets the Stage to drive the Telecom-Tech Company’s Ambitions

In March 2023, True Corporation and Total Access Communication successfully amalgamated into a new company and announced its intention to become Thailand’s No. 1 telecom-tech company. Upon the completion of the amalgamation, True Corporation’s company credit rating was assigned A+ by TRIS Rating.

True Blog spoke to Mr. Nakul Sehgal and Ms. Yupa Leewongcharoen, Co-Chief Financial Officers of True Corporation, to explore the implications of an improved credit rating on the company’s future trajectory and how it sets the stage to achieve the ambitions to become a telecom-tech company.

A+ for the New Company

The primary purpose of credit ratings for companies is to assess the likelihood of a company defaulting on its debts and its ability to repay them within the confines of the agreement. Credit ratings provide an evaluation of the creditworthiness and financial stability of a company, aiding investors and creditors in making informed decisions regarding lending, investment, and business partnerships.

“A higher credit rating enables a company to obtain loans and financing options at more favorable interest rates, leading to reduced borrowing costs and improved financial flexibility over time,” Mr. Nakul explained. “Similar for individuals, a higher credit rating increases their likelihood of accessing loans or credit from banks at reasonable rates.”

Following the recent amalgamation, True Corporation’s company rating has received a credit rating of A+ by TRIS Rating, Thailand’s first credit rating agency established in 1993. Their rating system ranges from AAA to D, providing investors with valuable insights into a company’s financial health and risk profile. Prior to the amalgamation, the former True Corporation PCL was rated BBB+ while Total Access Communication PCL was rated AA. The three notch higher rating of True Corporation when compared with former True, would enable it to refinance its debts at a lower interest rate, gaining a higher access to liquidity in the market by tapping into a wider pool of investors.

In 2022, the bond market in Thailand saw a financing of around 1.3 trillion baht, which was approximately a 19 percent increase compared to the previous year. Many companies accessed these bonds to raise funds from the market, with 75 percent of this liquidity going to companies with a credit rating of A or higher.

Going Beyond Expectations

The rating assigned for the amalgamated company are influenced by several factors. The rating is based on the combined financial strength of the predecessors Total Access Communication PCL (DTAC) and True Corporation PCL (TRUEE) after the amalgamation. The rating also includes the amalgamated company’s strong market position in Thailand’s wireless telecommunication and internet broadband markets, supported by nationwide networks, diverse frequency spectrums, and strong brand recognition among consumers. Moreover, macroeconomic factors such as the country’s expected GDP growth due to the post-COVID 19 tourism recovery play a role in driving the rating upgrade. However, the challenges posed by intense competition in the telecommunication industry, high financial leverage, and integration risks are also factored into the rating assessment.

“Company ratings serve as benchmark for investors to assess risk and reward,” Ms. Yupa said. “A higher rating means the risk is lower. Over time, this reduces costs and increases shareholder value.”

As explained by Ms. Yupa, TRIS issued the rating based on forward-looking perspectives, believing that there will be a lot of synergies coming out of this amalgamation.


“To maintain the rating, it’s crucial that we deliver according to our commitments and the consolidated business plan. By surpassing the expectations of our customers, shareholders, and other stakeholders, we can pave the way for an upgrade,” she added. “Everyone in this company has the power to contribute to the performance and strategic ambitions of this company by consistently delivering above and beyond expectations.”

Building a Strong Foundation

Given the substantial nature of the amalgamated company, each CFO is focused on their specific areas, however, their collaboration and effective communication remain crucial in achieving financial synergies, ensuring the company is on the right track in attaining strategic priorities and value creation, and contributing to the overall success of the company.

“When we merge, the first thing that we need to do is to collaborate and learn from each other so that we gain a deeper understanding of the businesses of the amalgamated company. Then according to our expertise, we divide the responsibilities to ensure that both of us have the right focus in driving this company forward,” Mr. Nakul said.

With the vision of becoming Thailand’s leading telecom-tech company that transforms the lives of millions of people, True Corporation has set its sights on a transformative journey. However, the two CFOs stress the importance of strong fundamentals and a steadfast focus on performance and financial optimization.

“With a strong position, we can propel the company forward as a telecom-tech leader and invest for the future. But to do so, we need to concentrate on improving our performance, leveraging synergies, and boosting profitability,” Ms. Yupa said.

Acknowledging the challenges posed by amalgamating two large, listed companies with different cultures and ways of work, the co-CFOs highlighted the importance of believing in one shared goal of value creation through delivering on our strategic ambitions for our stakeholders and the society at large. “We are committed to making a meaningful difference to the company and the country. That’s what keeps us motivated every day,” they said.