According to a report by news agency Reuters, Telecom Italia (TI) has distanced itself from rumours that it was considering a bid for Telekom Austria. Speculation had begun to pick up momentum following a report by local newspaper Milano Finanzia which said that TI was considering investment options and that a bid for the Austrian incumbent would make industrial sense and generate value without weighing down debt. However, TI described the report as ‘fictional’. The company has in fact been reining in its foreign investments in recent years as it looks to reduce operating costs and the level of standing debt associated with the firm, focussing instead on its core Italian and Brazilian operations. Speculation on the future strategy of the debt-laden company has risen ahead of the expected renewal this week of the investor pact controlling the company. Members of the Telco consortium, which holds a 24.5% stake in TI, are due to meet on 28 October to discuss the holding group’s future as a shareholder. While it is unlikely that the group would look to sell its stake in the incumbent, members could decide to break away from the consortium or, conversely, commit to remaining part of Telco for the next three years.