Shares in Filipino operator Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc (Digitel) rose by the largest amount in more than six years on the Manila bourse, amid speculation that its parent group, JG Summit Holdings Inc, is holding talks to sell the venture to larger rival Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT). Digitel’s share price leapt 18% to PHP1.83 (USD0.04) per share – the largest single gain since October 2004 – and JG’s own stock climbed 8.2% to PHP24.50, as rumours over a possible deal refused to go away. ‘The speculation that JG Summit will sell Digitel wouldn’t let up,’ said Astro del Castillo, managing director at Manila-based advisory group First Grade Holdings Inc. ‘The story spreading now is Philippine Long Distance has made an offer and the entry of a new investor into Digitel is imminent,’ he added. PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan declined to comment on the speculation while JG Summit Senior Vice-President Bach Johann Sebastian, who confirmed on 23 March 2011 that there have been ‘expressions of interest’ in Digitel, could not be reached by phone.
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