Shares of New World Mobile Holdings (NWM) surged 24.16 per cent to $1.49 yesterday after the company said it was in preliminary discussions with a third party about the possible acquisition of a mobile internet business. The mobile arm of New World Development made the announcement through the stock exchange on Sunday in response to the recent surge in its share price and trading volume. 'No concrete terms have yet been agreed or finalised,' the company said, but 'the board envisages that the proposed acquisition will constitute a disclosable transaction'. NWM shares have risen 34.23 per cent since August 26 as its trading volume has increased 100 per cent on each of the past four trading days. Officials at NWM refused to comment on the news yesterday. 'NWM shares surged [yesterday] more on speculation of industry consolidation, as shares of China Resources Peoples Telephone also rose,' Nomura Securities analyst Kelvin Ho said. Peoples Telephone shares leapt 4.67 per cent to close at $2.80. Announcing its first-half results last week, the company said it was open to possible merger and acquisition opportunities. NWM achieved a back-door listing on the main board last year through Asia Logistics Technologies, originally the 35.71 per cent logistics arm of New World Development, in a $2.5 billion deal involving cash, shares and bonds. Last year, NWM made a net profit of $142.12 million, down 26.5 per cent from $193.42 million in 2003.