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Hanarotelecom Shares Jump on Talk of Macquarie Buy

Shares of hanarotelecom jumped as much as 10 percent on Friday on a report that said Australia's Macquarie Bank is about to buy a stake in the South Korean broadband operator for about 1.1 trillion won (US$1.22 billion).

The JoongAng Ilbo cited unnamed telecoms industry sources as saying that Macquarie had offered about 12,000 won for each of 91.4 million shares owned by a consortium led by American International Group and Newbridge Capital.

The consortium is selling a 40 percent stake in the country's second-biggest broadband provider, valued at 784 billion won ($868 million) at market prices. It bought the shares for $500 million in 2003.

Spokesmen for Macquarie and hanarotelecom declined to comment on the report.

Shares in hanarotelecom were up 8.25 percent at 9,050 won in the morning session after surging 10 percent at one point, well ahead of the wider market's 1.16 percent drop.

Macquarie beat U.S. private equity fund the Carlyle Group and other bidders, the JoongAng Ilbo said. Five bidders had been shortlisted earlier this year.

Goldman Sachs is handling the sale.