Telecoms shares were mostly down in week 26. Our index was off 0.7 percent, versus a minor 0.2 percent gain for the benchmark, the EuroStoxx 50. Orange Poland and Play Communications were down 7.1 and 5.7 percent in apparent profit taking, according Telecompaper. The volatile Ice Group was the week’s winner, up 25 percent. Year to date, the Telecompaper Stock Index European Telecoms Services is up 5.8 percent, considerably underperforming the EuroStoxx 50 index, which is up 12.6 percent.
The drive towards convergence, the combination of fixed and mobile services, was palpable in the sector, last week. Several mergers, networks expansions and wholesale deals all served the same purpose.
- Fastweb, owned by Swisscom (-0.6% for the week), and Wind Tre, a unit of CK Hutchison (-0.7%) signed their 5G network sharing deal. For Fastweb its a way of expanding nationwide, using mobile technology.
- Play (-5.7%) acquired a fibre network operator and was out to strike a deal for wholesale access to Vectra’s (unlisted) cable network.
- Also in Poland, Netia (+0.6%) introduced and FMC service.
- In Greece, Forthnet (+17%) was setting up an MVNO on the Vodafone Greece’s mobile network.
- Vodafone (+1.9%), according to press reports, was getting closer to regulatory approval for acquiring Liberty Global’s (-1.9%) units in Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania.
In other M&A-related news:
- BT (-2.4%) was reported to be selling Global Service’s Spanish unit. The division earlier said that it would focus on multinational customers, and both Italy and Ireland could also be up for sale.
- Orange (-0.5%) sold its remaining 2.5 percent BT stake, good for GBP 486 million.
- TIM (-4.1%) is now officially investigating a possible merger with fibre operator Open Fiber (unlisted).
- Veon (-1.2%) was getting closer to acquiring GTH (Egypt).
- Tele2 (+0.1%) completed the sale of Tele2 Kazakhstan and promised its shareholders an SEK 6.00 special dividend.
Several companies were active on both bond and the equity markets: