Saturday, 28 November 2020

Telco shares are surprise losers as lockdown drives internet boom

Reuters

SINGAPORE/BERLIN: As lockdowns worldwide drive a surge in internet use, boosting online sales for businesses as varied as gaming and food delivery, the stocks of internet providers are an unlikely laggard on global markets.

In Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, a combination of high fixed costs, debt and market disruption has left telcos significantly underperforming the data-hungry businesses their networks carry.

“It’s a bit of a surprise,” said Kasper Elmgreen, equities head at Europe’s biggest fund manager, Amundi Asset Management.

“The traditional defensive sectors have played defensive, but telecoms have not really been defensive,” he said, pointing to price drops more or less in line with European markets.

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