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Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) witnessed a decline of more than 1% in early trading on Thursday following reports of its advanced negotiations to offload a significant stake in Australian telco Optus to Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management (TSX:BAM).

These reports emerged subsequent to Singtel’s dismissal of an article in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) on Wednesday, which speculated about a potential sale of the entirety of Australia’s second-largest telecommunications group for up to A$18 billion ($11.93 billion).

Singtel’s shares experienced a drop of 0.8% in the latest trading session after initially sliding by as much as 1.6%. This comes after a nearly 4% surge in share prices on Wednesday.

As of Thursday, Singtel has yet to respond to Reuters’ inquiries regarding the stake sale, while Brookfield has opted not to comment on the matter.

According to a Reuters report on Wednesday, Singtel is currently engaged in advanced discussions regarding a “significant” stake sale to Brookfield, as per a source familiar with the situation.

SingTel reaffirmed on Wednesday that Optus remains a crucial and strategic component of the group’s operations, emphasizing its long-term commitment to Australia.

November saw Optus facing public backlash following a 12-hour network blackout impacting over 10 million Australians. This incident prompted an investigation, the resignation of Optus’ CEO, and a subsequent fine of A$1.5 million ($990,900).