Telecom Italia outperforms as Sawiris says still interested

MILAN Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:15am EST

MILAN Jan 27 (Reuters) - Shares in Telecom Italia opened higher on Monday after Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris told the media over the weekend he would be prepared to invest in the Italian phone group as well as bid for its Brazilian unit.

The stock rose as much as 1 percent before paring gains. By 0807 GMT, Telecom Italia shares were up 0.2 percent, outpacing the Milan blue chip index which was down 0.8 percent.

Sawiris told Bloomberg News be would invest in Telecom Italia as long as the group's biggest shareholder, Telefonica, withdraws, but he is not in direct talks with either company.

In an interview with a Brazilian newspaper he said he would bid for TIM Brasil if it were sold but was keen to avoid seeing the unit split off from Telecom Italia. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, editing by Valentina Za)

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