Nokia shares outperform on M&A hopes

FILE PHOTO: Visitors gather outside the Nokia booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

(Reuters) – Shares in Finnish telecom network equipment maker Nokia Oyj (NOKIA.HE) outperformed a falling market on Thursday, following a Bloomberg report it was weighing options for potential asset sales and mergers.

“If exploring strategic options, only viable ones are a sale to an unrelated Tech company or asset sales,” JPMorgan analysts’ said in a research note.

Shares in Nokia were 0.4% lower while European technology shares index .SX8P was 2.3% lower.

Nokia competes with Huawei and Ericsson for orders for new 5G networks which are at the center of a brewing technology war between United States and China, as they are expected to host critical functions from driverless vehicles to military communications.

Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the United States and its allies should consider investing in Nokia and Ericsson to counter Huawei’s dominance in 5G technology, fuelling speculation of M&A activities in sector.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki @virki; editing by David Evans

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