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AMP Capital gets sign-off to build Chorus stake above 10%

Tuesday 1st May 2012

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AMP Capital Investors New Zealand, which manages about $12 billion locally, has been granted government approval to build its stake in telecommunications network operator Chorus above the 10 percent cap.

The fund manager got Crown sign-off to lift its existing stake in Chorus from just under 10 percent to as much as 15 percent, the telecommunications lines company said in a statement.

Investors have to get government approval to buy hold more than 10 percent of Chorus' stock under its constitution.

AMP Capital has bucked the trend among fund managers by backing the network company when it was demerged from Telecom, with most institutional investors choosing to build unfettered stakes in the retailer.

Chorus was carved out of Telecom as a standalone entity last year in a deal that would let the network company tap $929 million of taxpayer funds to build high-speed broadband lines across three-quarters of the nation. That lifted regulatory burdens on Telecom, which is now operates as a retail company.

As part of the deal, Telecom shed its cap on ownership, freeing it up for a takeover, though Chorus retained the so-called kiwi share obligations, limiting international investment in the company.

Chorus' shares gained 1.8 percent to $3.43 in trading yesterday, and have climbed 17 percent since listing last year.

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