In Brief: Macquarie Banks eyes Telstra stake

July 21, 2006

Macquarie Bank is reportedly interested in acquiring an interest in Telstra, possibly from the Australian government's stake in the national telecom.

The Sydney Morning Herald said the move could result in easier re-financing of some of Telstra's operations or a divestment of other assets.

Australia will next month announce plans for the sale of its 51.8-percent stake in Telstra. Regulations limiting foreign ownership in telcos to 5 percent could give Macquarie a leg up on any larger stake.

The Herald said Macquarie's involvement with Telstra would be similar to recent telecom acquisitions involving major banks in Germany and Ireland. Macquarie made an unsuccessful run at Hong Kong's PCCW.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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