BT and Vodafone lead UK telecoms stock surge

May 7, 2013

Figures from the London Stock Exchange show that, overall, telecoms shares are have risen by 23.8 per cent since January 1. In particular the UK's big and still powerful incumbent telco BT is on the up-and up as is the mobile operator Vodafone.

BT Group shares have risen by of 19 per cent so far in 2013 partly on apparently well-founded expectations that the telco is seeking a mobile operator partner in an effort to increase its credibility and services in both its domestic residential and enterprise markets.

Elsewhere, BT, having bought the rights to Premier League soccer games next season, has plans to up its game in relation to the securing and provision of content for its burgeoning TV offerings - particularly in sport where the telco hopes to reduce the satellite company BSkyB's Sky Sports de facto hegemony in the sector.

Meanwhile, Vodafone is, not before time, at last riding higher on expectations that a lucrative deal is in the offing in regard to Voda's 49 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless of the US. Having had an initial bid of US$100 billion flatly rejected as "nowhere close" to what Vodafone would accept to sell-off its part of Verizon Wireless, Verizon has gone away to mull a new and considerably higher offer.

Vodafone investors have signaled that the price point from which to start negotiating, upwards, will be $120 billion with hopes of parlaying the bid up to Verizon's rumoured upper limit of $135 billion. Vodafone shares are up by 39.6 per cent since the start of the year.

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