DoCoMo increases stakes in Philippine carrier

Japan's NTT DoCoMo has raised its stake in Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT), lifting the NTT group's overall holding in the Philippines' largest telecom firm to 20.03%, a Reuters report said.

The Reuters report said the share purchase allows DoCoMo to class PLDT as an equity-method affiliate and will likely boost DoCoMo's net profit next year by several billion yen, according to DoCoMo spokesman Shuichiro Ichikoshi.

DoCoMo, which controls more than half of Japan's mobile market, has bought 12.53 million additional PLDT shares for 86.7 billion yen ($760 million) since March 2007, raising its stake in PLDT to 13.34% from 6.7%.

The investment, which brings the NTT group's holdings in PLDT close to a 21% limit previously agreed on, will help it strengthen partnerships in global roaming services and joint technological development, DoCoMo officials said.