Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake BRUSSELS | Tue Oct 8, 2013 6:40pm EDT BRUSSELS (Reuters) – AT&T Inc Chief Executive Randall Stephenson on Tuesday said that he sees a “huge opportunity for somebody” in Europe to invest in mobile broadband and reap the big profits already being generated from such services in the United States. Stephenson, who has been exploring opportunities for AT&T to expand into Europe, said Europe has the potential to be “incredibly exciting” during his appearance at an industry conference held by ETNO, the European telecommunications lobby. However, the executive said that Europe needs to make big changes to its mobile spectrum policy in order to spur much needed investments in networks there. “I continue to be fascinated and impressed by how slow mobile broadband is moving in Europe. So I think of this as a huge opportunity for somebody,” said Stephenson. AT&T has been eyeing Europe since the beginning of the year, and has considered options including pan-European player Vodafone and Britain’s largest mobile carrier EE, a joint venture of Orange and Deutsche Telekom, according to sector bankers. But Stephenson told the audience of lobbyists, regulators and investors that Europe need to overhaul its regulatory policies on spectrum in order to realize its potential. For example he said, it would be easier for telecom operators in Europe to invest in their networks if they were able to buy long-term spectrum licenses and if spectrum policies were similar across the region’s different countries. “I know most of the CEOs here and they are pretty smart people who like to earn money for their shareholders. So if the investment case were there they would be doing more,” Stephenson said. “There will need to be a regulatory re-think.” Europe’s 28 member states still sell mobile licenses country by country and there is little standardization on the bands used, complicating the process of rolling out networks and preventing cross-border usage. Smartphones often need different chipsets to be able to work in different European markets, for example. In contrast, the operators in the US buy national licenses to serve a massive market of nearly 315 million people. (Reporting by Leila Abboud and Sinead Carew; Editing by Theodore d’Afflisio)
ICE Clear Europe Announces Successful Launch of European CDS Client Clearing; Five Clients Active on Day One
U.S. ET (8 p.m. London time) on Wednesday. “With Janet Yellen, you’re likely to get a situation where the Fed pursues its ultra-loose monetary policy well beyond the current threshold of unemployment at 6.5 percent and ultimately pushes into higher inflation,” Gabriel Stein, chief executive of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, told CNBC. (Read More: What would Yellen at the Fed mean for global finance? ) Spain’s IBEX 35 and Italy’s FTSE MIB helped European benchmarks higher with lenders such as Caixabank and Banco Santander posting healthy gains. The Spanish government managed to launch its first 30-year bond on Wednesday for the first time in nearly five years, whilst Italy also tapped the markets with a new 7-year bond. Stocks started the day at one-month lows with global investor sentiment continuing to be weighed down by rising concerns over a U.S. credit default with only nine days left for Congress to raise the debt limit before October 17. At a press conference on Tuesday, President Obama said he had yet to see serious proposals from the Republicans that would allow both sides to resolve their core differences. (Read More: US futures signal higher open for Wall Street ) “So my suggestion to the Speaker has been and will continue to be: ‘Let’s stop the excuses, let’s take a vote in the House, and let’s end this shutdown right now’…There are enough reasonable Democrats and Republicans in the house who are willing to vote ‘yes’ on the budget that the Senate had already passed,” he said. (Read More: UK industrial output drops ) How are bond and equity markets reacting to shutdown? Kiran Kowshik, currency strategist at BNP Paribas, discusses the reaction of the fixed income market and equity market to the debt ceiling debate and tapering timeline. In stocks news, shares of French telecoms company Alcatel-Lucent fell 4.58 percent after President Francois Hollande called on the firm to save as many jobs as possible in France after the equipment maker said it plans to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide. Miner Vedanta Resources reported a rise in oil, gas and zinc production in the second quarter on Wednesday.
Europe stocks erase losses; IBEX up 1.4%
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