Shares of Canadian telecom majors rise as Verizon threat fades

Tue Sep 3, 2013 9:09am EDT
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TORONTO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Shares of Canada's big three telecom players - BCE Inc, Rogers Communications Inc and Telus Corp rose on Tuesday, after Verizon Communications disclosed that it no longer plans a foray into Canada.

Verizon has been sniffing around a possible move into Canada for months and this has pressured shares of the big three telecom companies in Canada.

But shortly after clinching a mega $130 billion deal to buy Vodafone Group out of its U.S. wireless business on Monday, the U.S. telecom giant disclosed that it is no longer interested in entering the Canadian market.

The announcement is a blow for Canada's Conservative government, which has been trying hard to boost competition in the sector in the hope of lowering prices for consumers.

It is also likely to result in the government raising much less money than it may have hoped for in an upcoming auction of valuable airwaves, as Canada's big three are now unlikely to have any major competition in the auction scheduled to begin on Sept. 17.

Shares in BCE, Rogers and Telus rose in light trading before the morning bell in the United States on Tuesday, as analysts raised their price targets and ratings on the trio following the Verizon announcement.

National Bank analyst Adam Shine raised his price target on shares of Rogers to C$47.50 from C$44; on those of Telus to C$36 from C$33; and on those of BCE to C$45.50 from C$44. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Chris Reese)