Germans sign up for Telekom float

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The Independent Online
The flotation of Deutsche Telekom appears to be curing the Germans' phobia of investing in shares. More than 2 million prospective German investors have registered for information for the initial offering of shares and the company, which yesterday published its prospectus, hopes the final figure will soar to 5 million.

Deutsche, the state-owned telecoms company which is raising an estimated DM15bn (pounds 6.3bn) from the share offer, is offering 500 million new shares, representing 20 per cent of the enlarged share capital.

Prospective investors must register with the company's information forum by the end of next week to be entitled to a priority allotment. So far 2 million have put their names down, but many more have probably tried and failed.The procedure, like all dealings with Telekom, is painful and bureaucratic.

Despite being 160 pages long, the prospectus lacks a breakdown of company activities. Investors still do not know whether the mobile phone subsidiary,which already faces competition in Germany, is making money. The question is pertinent because Telekom's monopoly in the core business will be abolished in two years' time.

To entice investors, Telekom is forecasting a 60 pfennig dividend on the DM5 shares at the end of this year, DM1.20 next year, and free loyalty shares for every 10 in 1999.

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