SoftBank shares rise amid T-Mobile US and Sprint merger rumours

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Shares in SoftBank are higher on Monday in the wake of reports the Japanese telco, which owns US mobile carrier Sprint, is expected to approach T-Mobile US about a possible merger in coming months.

SoftBank was up 3.3 per cent to its strongest level this month, following a report from Reuters on Friday that SoftBank was willing to concede control of Sprint in order to seal a deal between the two US wireless carriers. T-Mobile is majority owned by Deutsche Telekom.

News of the possible deal emerged after the close of Japanese trade on Friday, but pushed T-Mobile shares 5.5 per cent higher and Sprint shares up 3.3 per cent by the close of the New York trading.

SoftBank previously abandoned talks to buy T-Mobile for Sprint after it ran into opposition from US antitrust regulators. But photos of SoftBank’s billionaire founder Masayoshi Son with US President Donald Trump after his election victory sparked speculation Mr Son might again have a tilt at combining the companies.

Last week, in a slight change of pace, SoftBank announced it would acquire Fortress Investment Group, the US alternative asset manager, for $3.3bn.

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