Greek Slapdown

12:15 PM -- See if you can spot the connection between these two announcements made today.

  1. Marfin Investment Group SA announces its stake in Greek incumbent OTE S.A. -- aka, Hellenic Telecommunications Organization S.A. -- has risen to almost 18.5 percent.

  2. The Associated Press reports the Greek government has capped private investment in companies of "strategic importance" at 20 percent, unless the government grants special approval.

The Greek government is looking to reduce its own stake in OTE, but wants another European carrier to buy into its incumbent and bring to Greece the benefit of some international experience.

Maybe the government should have been a bit more flexible toward Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA), which knows how to run operations in southeast Europe and which expressed its interest in buying into OTE earlier this year. (See Telekom Austria Makes Greek U-Turn and EuroBites: So Sell Me!)

— Ray Le Maistre, Minority Stakes Editor, Light Reading

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