November 2, 2012 / 9:10 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Deutsche Telekom considers drastic dividend cut-paper

* Dividend cut should create financial leeway - paper

* Analysts expect 2013 of 0.59 eur/shr - StarMine data

* Telekom shares down 3.7 pct, underperforming main market

FRANKFURT, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom is considering cutting its dividend by up to a third from 2013, German business daily Handelsblatt reported, citing supervisory board sources.

The paper said the dividend cut would give Chief Executive Rene Obermann more financial leeway to invest in networks and new products.

Deutsche Telekom last month confirmed a 2012 dividend of at least 0.70 euros ($0.91) per share and is due to decide on its dividend policy for 2013 in the coming weeks.

A spokesman declined to comment on the report.

Last week France Telecom joined a long list of European telecoms operators cutting their dividends amid intense regulatory pressure, falling prices, and changes in how consumers use their phones including internet applications that cut the need for high-margin text messaging.

Telefonica scrapped its dividend this year and halved it for 2013, while KPN and Telekom Austria also reduced theirs.

Analysts already expect Deutsche Telekom to cut its dividend for 2013. StarMine data shows the 2013 dividend is expected to be 0.59 euros per share.

In the past 30 days analysts have cut their estimates for Deutsche Telekom’s 2013 dividend by an average of 14 percent.

Deutsche Telekom shares were down almost 4 percent in early trade at the bottom of a flat German blue chip index.

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