Shares in Telkom surged nearly 8 percent in early trade yesterday after a newspaper said the government, its top shareholder, could be planning to buy the outstanding stock in the struggling firm. Telkom, in which the government and the state-run pension fund jointly own more than a 50 percent stake, closed 2.41 percent up at R20.84. Citing a source close to the communications ministry, Business Day said the government could fully nationalise the fixed-line operator. “The government is looking for a way to direct Telkom to meet its development agenda without being hampered by the rules of the JSE,” the daily quoted the source as saying. Siya Qoza, a spokesman for the communications ministry, said the report was “not close to the truth”, but added that the ANC was best-placed to comment. “I don’t know what they want to do with Telkom, but as far as I know it’s not government policy,” Qoza said. The cabinet turned down a bid for 20 percent of Telkom by South Korea’s KT Corporation last month. – Reuters