BlackRock hikes Telecom Italia stake

BlackRock, the world’s biggest money manager, has become the second-largest shareholder in Telecom Italia, giving it a potentially pivotal role in a shareholder vote on whether to oust the board of the Italian telecoms firm. At the end of November, it increased its combined holding in the Italian company to 10.1 per cent from the 5.1 per cent it owned in October, according to documents published by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The increase could potentially tip the balance at the shareholder meeting, scheduled for 20 December, over the future of the phone company’s board, which is in question because of complaints of conflicts of interest and the possible sale of a Brazilian unit.