Last week's telecoms market was characterised by limited volatility, according Telecompaper. The week's performance generally ranged between +6 percent and -6 percent, with just two outliers: Greek microcap Forthnet (-37%) and Russian MTS (+11%). Our index gained 1.3 percent, little behind the EuroStoxx 50 index's +1.6 percent.

Major news was rather limited in week 37 and the biggest headlines came from the adjacent IT hardware sector, where Apple had an iPhone and Apple Watch event. In the datacenter segment, Equinix (+4.0%) apparently benefitted from the appointment of a new CEO. InterXion (+3.0%) raised its capex guidance in an effort to expand in Europe. British local incumbent Manx Telecom (+3.3%) of the Isle of Man was among the last companies to report on its Q2 numbers. Sky (+1.9%), to be taken private by either 21st Century Fox or Comcast, came in focus of the British Takeover Panel. If the two potential acquirers fail to come up with a so-called final offer, Sky may become the subject of a sealed auction.
Italy in focus

Iliad's disruptive entrance in Italy still forces the other operators to adjust their offerings. Vodafone (+1.3%) Italia first launched a 20 GB bundle and later a 60 GB bundle, of which half can only be used during the night. TIM (-0.1%) also came with an innovative plan, offering 50 GB only to current Iliad and MVNO subscribers. Meanwhile, the Italian 5G auction took off and by the end of the week the tally stood at EUR 2.8 billion. Activist shareholder Elliott Advisers defended itself against Vivendi's claims of mismanaging TIM.

Benelux dealings

In Belgium, a different activist shareholder worried over the governance of Telenet (+1.4%), majority controlled by Liberty Global (+5.9%). Telenet rejected the proposals, but will address its dividend policy at a later date, possibly at the company's Capital Markets Day on 5 December. Orange BE (+3.6%) reiterated its interest in regional cable operator VOO (unlisted). KPN (+3.0%) also announced plans for a Capital Markets Day, to be held 28 November. The company saw minority shareholder America Movil reduce its holding to 16 percent. The local merger of the Dutch branches of Deutsche Telekom (+1.1%) and Tele2 (-2.2%) hit a roadblock, as the EC declined to approve the merger without conditions. Now it is up to T-Mobile NL to come up with a remedy that is acceptible to itself and to the European Commission.

Year-to-date: satellite and takeover candidates winning

In the year-to-date ranking of our European telecoms stocks, we still find Tele Columbus (-72%) and Intelsat (+588%) at the extremes. Looking at the ranking from a segment point of view, it becomes apparent that there is no clear correlation between segment and performance, with a few exceptions.

Cable operators: generally down, except Swedish Com Hem (+22%), to be taken over by Tele2 (+8.8%), and Euskaltel (+2.4%).
Challengers are all down double digit, from Italian Go Internet (-10%) to Forthnet (-67%).
Both conglomerats in our index are down: CK Hutchison (-7.1%) and Bouygues (-16%).
The two datacenter stocks show big differences: Equinix (-1.1%) and InterXion (+13%).
Convergence players (fixed and mobile infrastructure) vary strongly, from Iliad (-43%) to Altice Europe (+66%).
The same is true for incumbents: from Turk Telekom (-46%) to DNA (+21%).
In the mobile segment, performances again are in a wide range, from Polish Play (-40%) to Russian MegaFon (+10%).
The satellite segment has postive YTD performances only, but also in a wide range: from Inmarsat (+0.7%) to Intelsat (+588%).

In the year so far, investors are mostly making profits on either satellite stocks or stocks that are subject to a takeover.