Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has reportedly held talks with Internet portal Yahoo! about a wide-ranging alliance under which the two companies would take financial stakes in each other's assets.

Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang has met News Corp president and COO Peter Chernin several times in recent weeks, according to an article in The New Yorker magazine.

Talks reportedly concern an alliance under which Yahoo! would use News Corp's content and News Corp would provide access to Yahoo! web-sites through its global satellite systems. The two companies would remain separate entities, but take significant financial stakes in one another, the magazine said.

Meanwhile the New York Times reported that Murdoch is in talks with Singapore Telecommunications to make a joint bid for Cable & Wireless HKT. Dow Jones Newswires later confirmed that News Corp will invest $1bn in Singapore Telecommunications. Neither company would comment on the stories.

News Corp's ordinary shares climbed 5.1% on Monday in reaction to the stories to A$23.40, and preferred limited-voting shares rose 81 cents to A$20.45.

The talks with Yahoo! come nearly two months after news of the merger between AOL and Time Warner, which was expected to trigger a raft of similar mergers and alliances between Web players and content providers.

News Corp is currently considering a major financial and corporate restructuring that would consolidate all of its global satellite operations and investments into a new entity. The restructuring is likely to include a flotation of News Corp's Asian platform Star TV in the third quarter of 2000 (Screendaily, Feb 23).