Tue, Nov 27, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Speculation about Olympics boosts phone firm shares

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Shares of Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) jumped more than 3 percent yesterday amid speculation that it won the right to broadcast the Beijing Olympics on different platforms, including mobile phones and Internet TV.

The stock price of Chunghwa Telecom rose 3.33 percent, or NT$2, to close at NT$62 yesterday, outperforming broad market's 2.23 percent rise, after the Chinese-language Commercial Times said the telephone company received the approval from the International Olympic Committee to broadcast the 2008 Olympics games on multimedia platforms.

"The project is still under review," Chunghwa Telecom said in a company statement filed to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

The right to broadcast the Games would bring limited income from mobile ads for Chunghwa Telecom, but would spur subscription of its Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) service, said Lu Chia-lin (呂家霖), who tracks the telecom industry for Yuanta Core Pacific Securities (元大京華證券).

"As voice traffic is slowing down and broadband service nears saturation, Chunghwa Telecom needs to seek growth in the new IPTV business, following the lead of some European telecom operators," Lu said.

Chunghwa Telecom said earlier this month that it was aiming to nearly triple its IPTV customer base from the current 350,000 users to 1 million. It has stepped up talks with Chinese telecom companies for content cooperation ahead of next year's Olympics.

"We will meet China Mobile Communications Corp (中國移動) this week to discuss cooperating to deliver anything about the Olympics to our subscribers," Shih Mu-piao (石木標), a Chunghwa Telecom spokesman, said by telephone.

Shih and Chunghwa Telecom vice president Lin Jen-hon (林仁紅) will represent the company in meetings arranged by China Mobile, the biggest Chinese mobile operator, about possible collaboration. China Mobile has invited a dozen global telecom firms for talks.

Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) and Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) shares rose 3.91 percent and 3.9 percent respectively on optimism they could benefit from the Olympics by working with Chinese telecom firms.

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