China Telecom Corporation has denied reports that it might buy cellphone operator MTN.
"We wish to deny the news report of China Telecom buying MTN," a China Telecom spokesman wrote.
The company was responding to a newspaper article that China Telecom might be interested in bidding for MTN, which runs networks in risky but high-growth markets in Africa and the Middle East. Shares in MTN rose 6 percent in three days this week as speculation it could become a takeover target swirled.
The parent of China Mobile was, according to sources, in talks to buy emerging market mobile operator Millicom earlier this year.
But the talks collapsed, adding to a string of aborted approaches by China Mobile for firms from India to Uzbekistan.
MTN declined to comment on Wednesday on reports it might become a takeover target as operators scramble for a foothold in Africa, where mobile phone use has exploded.
Chinese firms made overseas acquisitions worth $9,18billion last year, more than double the $3,8billion of 2004, according Dealogic. - Reuters