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The Spanish investment company, CriteriaCaixa, has raised its ownership in Telefónica to slightly above five percent.

Previously, CriteriaCaixa held a 2.7 percent stake in the telecommunications company, but it has now augmented its position to 5.007 percent.

The company is mirroring the Spanish government's approach by boosting its ownership stake in Telefónica. Additionally, last September, the Saudi Telecom Company (stc) finalized a deal to acquire a 9.9 percent share in Telefónica for USD 2.25 billion.The company is following in the footsteps of the Spanish government in increasing its stake in Telefónica, while the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) agreed to pay $2.25 billion for a 9.9 percent stake in the company last September.

CriteriaCaixa has been an investor in Telefónica since 1987, when it purchased 2.5% of the company's shares. The company increased its stake to 5% for the first time in 1996, before being diluted to 3.6 percent in 2000 when Telefónica raised equity to fund its international expansion. By 2004, it had increased its stake to more than 5%, before being diluted to 2.7% in subsequent years.

In March, the Spanish government purchased a 3% stake in the carrier through the state-owned Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI). SEPI purchased 175 million shares worth approximately EUR €698 million (USD $757 million), as part of the government's strategy to secure a 10% ownership stake and deter interest from stc.with the government aiming for a 10% stake to ward off interest from STC.