BlackRock ups stake in Telecom Italia

17 December 2013 |

BlackRock – one of the world’s largest asset management firms – has increased its stake in Telecom Italia.

In November, the financial firm was thought to have increased its near 5% stake in the Italian operator to 10.1%, but reports yesterday state that the increase was slightly lower, with the company taking a 9.97% stake.

BlackRock said in a statement on Monday that the incorrect filing was an “inadvertent overstatement” and – as requested by Italian market watchdog, Consob – will be informing the market of its official holdings in Telecom Italia within the next 48 hours.

Consob has threatened to fine BlackRock for not initially disclosing its stake increase, and is trying to ascertain whether the company acted on its own or in agreement with other parties.

A source close to the matter told reporters: “On the surface the BlackRock move could be anything or nothing at all – they [BlackRock] have so many funds.”

The news falls ahead of Telecom Italia’s investor shareholder meeting, planned for Friday this week, whereby shareholders will be asked to vote on a proposal to remove the existing board.

Earlier his month, Spanish operator Telefónica increased its stake in the holding company that controls Telecom Italia.