State-backed operator Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has confirmed that there are currently no plans to delist, responding to rumours that the operator would be taken off the stock exchange to be merged with its sister company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL). The Business Standard writes that MTNL’s stock rose 19.88% on the back of the speculation. Rakesh Garg, the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) secretary, had previously announced that a decision on a merger between BSNL and MTNL would be taken after it had studied a report on the issue from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM). As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, combining MTNL and BSNL has been seen as a potential route to make the duo profitable again and improve their ability to compete with their privately-owned rivals. It has faced resistance from many quarters however, and the option was ruled out as a possibility by telecoms minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in January this year.