Telenor climbs on report of merger talks with CK Hutchison in Denmark, Sweden

By Scott Kanowsky -- Shares in Telenor ASA (OL:TEL) rose on Friday after the Financial Times reported that CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd (HK:0001) was in negotiations with the Scandinavian telecoms group about merging its operations in Sweden and Denmark.

Citing two people familiar with the matter, the paper said talks between the Norway-based Telenor and Hong Kong-listed CK Hutchison are in their early stages and no decision has yet been reached.

CK Hutchinson did not immediately respond to the FT's request for comment while Telenor declined to comment.

Analysts at New Street Research said a tie-up in the two countries would be viewed as "broadly positive" for both companies should the offer terms be fair.

The report comes as telecom companies across Europe are eyeing possible mergers in a bid to secure the investments needed to upgrade key infrastructure.

On Thursday, CK Hutchison said it was close to a combination with Three UK and Vodafone (LON:VOD), in a deal that would create Britain's largest mobile operator. Elsewhere, MasMovil in Spain and Orange (EPA:ORAN) have also proposed a merger.

However, it remains uncertain if regulators around the continent will allow these moves to be finalized.

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