Friday, November 28, 2008

Daily news - 27 Nov

Telstra challenges SingTel for Aussie deal
Telstra Corp & SingTel – Telstra Corp, Australia's largest phone company, submitted a proposal to bid to build a nationwide high-speed Internet network in Australia, challenging the Terria group led by Singapore Telecommunications and two others. Telstra is 'ready to commit up to A$5 billion' (S$4.89 billion) to the network, subject to certain terms, the Melbourne- based carrier said in a statement yesterday. The company reversed an earlier decision not to bid unless the Australian government clarifies its stance on whether Telstra's sales to retail customers on this network must be separated from the rest of its businesses. Telstra, the former state-owned phone monopoly, aims to defend its dominance in Australia's telecommunications market. Second-ranked SingTel Optus Pty, SingTel's Sydney- based subsidiary which has less than a third of Telstra's high-speed Internet users, could narrow the gap by building the fibre-optic network. The network 'will strategically position the winner in the market,' said Angus Gluskie, who oversees US$226 million including Telstra shares at White Funds Management Pty in Sydney. 'It'll anchor Telstra's dominance if it wins. If it loses, another player will be able to step in and break that down.' Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's government will offer as much as A$4.7 billion to help build a high-speed network capable of reaching 98 per cent of homes and offices in the country. The deadline for submitting proposals to build the network closed at noon Sydney time yesterday. Telstra climbed 1.5 per cent to close at A$4.18 in Sydney trading, while SingTel, rose 6.5 per cent to close at S$2.63 in Singapore.

Source: Kim Eng

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