Shareholders keen on $11b deal

TELSTRA shareholders have voted overwhelmingly to approve plans for the telco to hand back its copper network to the government for $11 billion, according to a partial survey of votes.

The vote was 99.1% in favour and 0.55% against in a preliminary vote released shortly after midday, AEDT, today.  The result was based on 6.34 billion votes received in advance, predominantly from institutional shareholders.

About 40 per cent of Telstra's shareholders are so-called mum and dad shareholders, with the remaining 60 per cent of shares held by institutional investors, hence the importance of the preliminary figures.

Telstra shares rose to their highest in more than 14 months yesterday, gaining as much as 6 cents, or 1.9 per cent, to $3.17. The shares are up about 13 per cent this year compared with a drop of 11 per cent in the broader market.

Shareholders lodged 6.43 billion proxy and advanced votes in favour of the deal, and just 4 million against the resolution, which was discussed and voted on before other matters at today's Telstra annual general meeting.

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