A rally in European telecom stocks has closed the big valuation gap with U.S. peers seen nine months ago, boosted by hopes that regulators will allow more mergers in the industry as it starts to recover from the bruising recession.
A series of telecoms and cable industry deals this year has helped fuel speculation that competition regulators will loosen the leash on mobile firms wanting to merge to encourage the investment needed for Europe to catch up on building faster broadband networks.
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta has reportedly unveiled plans to set investment targets for the country’s telecoms sector to ensure it does not fall behind other parts of Europe.
According to a report from Reuters, Letta has appointed a group of telecoms and economics experts – including former Cable & Wireless (London, UK) chief executive Francesco Caio, French economist Gerard Pogorel, and former FCC advisor Scott Marcus – to produce a report on investment requirements by the end of the year.
Belgacom has announced that chief financial officer Ray Stewart and chairman Stefaan De Clerck will jointly assume chief executive responsibilities following the sacking of Didier Bellens last week.
Stewart and De Clerck are to lead the Belgian incumbent until a full-time replacement for Bellens has been found.
The operator’s board of directors appears to have recruited an external headhunting agency to find a successor by drawing up a shortlist of qualified candidates.
New Zealand’s Chorus has withdrawn its full-year dividend guidance, blaming the ongoing regulatory uncertainty over wholesale pricing for its move.
The company – which rents capacity on its broadband network to retail service providers, including Telecom New Zealand (Auckland, New Zealand) – had previously issued dividend guidance of NZD0.25 per share, but its financial plans have recently been thrown into disarray by regulatory proposals to lower the price of it services.
Shares in France's Iliad fell more than 4 percent after the low-cost telecoms operator founded by billionaire Xavier Niel reported slower growth at its mobile phone business Free.
Iliad said the number of new mobile customers fell to 640,000 in the third quarter from 720,000 in the second, suggesting that a price war with more established mobile operators is making it harder for Iliad's (Paris, France) Free Mobile service to lure away their customers.
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Russia’s MegaFon has flagged growth in revenue and profits on the back of rising demand for mobile data services and an increase in smartphone sales.
The operator – Russia’s third biggest after MTS (Moscow, Russia) and VimpelCom (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – said revenues for the three months ending September were up by 9%, to RUB77.5 billion ($2.37 billion), while net profit rose by 2.9%, to RUB15.3 billion, compared with the same period last year.
Portugal Telecom has reported drops in revenue and earnings for the three months ending September due to the weakness of the Brazilian real and a slump in domestic sales.
The Portuguese incumbent flagged an 11.3% fall in operating revenues, to €1.45 billion ($1.95 billion), and said net income plummeted by 66.4%, to just €21 million, between the third quarters of 2012 and 2013.
Portugal Telecom (Lisbon, Portugal) said its performance in its domestic market continued to be affected by intense competition and poor macroeconomic conditions.
Network equipment maker Juniper Networks says Barclays executive Shaygan Kheradpir will take over from Kevin Johnson as chief executive at the start of 2014.
Johnson had announced plans to retire in July, having led the company since 2008, when he joined from software giant Microsoft (Seattle, WA, USA).
Kheradpir is currently chief operations and technology officer at financial services provider Barclays (London, UK), and before that he worked as executive vice president and chief information and technology officer at Verizon Communications (New York City, NY, USA).
T-Mobile US Inc is considering buying spectrum from an unidentified private party and would use some of the proceeds of a planned $2 billion share offering to finance such a deal, the company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.
On Monday, after the market close, the company announced an offering of up to roughly 72 million shares and said it could buy wireless airwaves using proceeds from the sale. The share sale could represent the fourth biggest secondary offering so far this year, according to Reuters data.