UPDATE 1-Telefonica sells Telecom Italia bonds for a profit - source

viernes 20 de junio de 2014 11:24 GYT

* Telefonica sold 139 mln euros of Tel Italia bonds - source

* Raises questions over future role in Tel Italia - analyst

* Tel Italia shares down 2.2 pct, Telefoncia down 0.2 pct (Adds analyst view, shares)

MADRID/MILAN, June 20 (Reuters) - Telefonica has sold bonds it held which are convertible into Telecom Italia shares, a source at the Spanish group said on Friday, raising questions among market players about its commitment to the Italian phone company.

The move comes as Telefonica and three Italian investors are dismantling the Telco shareholder pact that has controlled Telecom Italia for seven years via a 22.4 percent stake, making way for new investors in the phone company.

The Telefonica source said the group sold the bonds for 139 million euros ($190 million) for "financial reasons", having initially invested 103 million euros in them.

Analysts said the sale could mean the group's commitment to Telecom Italia is waning in the face of antitrust concerns in Brazil, where Telefonica and Telecom Italia are direct competitors.

"The bond sale, even if it is supported by the strong price increase of the bonds, raises questions about the future role of Telefonica in the shareholding of Telecom Italia," ICBPI analyst Stefano Vulpiani said in a note.

Earlier in June, Telefonica's Italian partners exercised their option to quit Telco, a move that would leave Telefonica as the largest investor in Telecom Italia with a stake of almost 15 percent.   Continuación...