Reports are suggesting that Telefonica of Spain is looking to sell off its shares in Telecom Italia (TI) to finally resolve regulatory concerns over their shareholdings in Brazil. Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo suggests that Telefonica is negotiating with unnamed investment funds to offload its stake in the Italian operator, whose TIM Brasil unit competes against Telefonica’s Vivo operation in Brazil’s cellular sector. The country’s telecoms regulator Anatel has called for Telefonica to exit either Vivo or TIM Brasil to ensure full competition in the local market. Telefonica currently holds a direct stake of around 15% in TI following the recent dissolution of its Telco shareholding vehicle. Meanwhile, on Friday Telefonica sold EUR139 million (USD189 million) of bonds which are convertible into TI shares, adding further fuel to the speculation that the Spanish giant is looking to exit the Italian operation.
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