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Monday March 20, 2017
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A migrant worker from India checks his mobile phone at the Marina Bay Promenade in the central business district of Singapore January 22, 2014. — Reuters picA migrant worker from India checks his mobile phone at the Marina Bay Promenade in the central business district of Singapore January 22, 2014. — Reuters picSINGAPORE, March 20 — Singapore’s smallest publicly traded telecommunications company M1 Ltd rose for a second day after its major shareholders said Friday they are undertaking a strategic review on their investments in the phone operator. Shares of rival StarHub Ltd and the M1 owners also rose.

Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation Ltd, Axiata Group Bhd. and Singapore Press Holdings Ltd are exploring options including a sale of M1 as the city state gears up for a new entrant into the wireless market, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

M1 shares rose 0.9 per cent to S$2.21 (RM7) as of 12:40am, on almost five times its three-month daily average volume. The stock jumped 7.9 per cent on Friday. The operator has slumped 21 per cent from a peak in July 2016 after it reported a drop in profit.

Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation climbed 2.9 per cent, while Malaysian wireless carrier, Axiata, the biggest shareholder of M1, added 1.6 per cent on the Kuala Lumpur bourse and Singapore Press Holdings rose 0.6 per cent.

The potential sale of M1 comes as the city state prepares for the roll-out of a fourth mobile operator with TPG Telecom Ltd. due to begin wireless services in the coming months. The regulator has said it wants to introduce more competition in the city state to bring down phone bills and improve services.

“There is no assurance that any transaction will materialise from such strategic review or that any definitive or binding agreement will be reached,” Singapore Press Holdings said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Friday. Axiata also released a similar statement to the Bursa Malaysia exchange.

The three major M1 owners have jointly appointed Morgan Stanley Asia (Singapore) Pte. as their financial adviser in the review. — Bloomberg

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